International comparisons: the economy

Measuring National Well-being: ONS

  • In international comparisons of household income the UK has dropped  from 5th place in 2005 to 12th place in 2011. This is partly as a result of the devaluation of sterling seen in this period.
  • Since 2009 inflation has remained high compared to the US, France and Germany but has been relatively less volatile
  • Despite falling 12 places between 2005 and 2011 when looking at rankings based on unemployment, the UK labour market has been more resilient in than previous recessions
  • In terms of household spending and wealth, the UK has remained relatively strong compared with other OECD countries
  • Despite falling two places in the rankings since 2005, the UK still fares relatively better under Net National Income than Gross Domestic Product

Frances Grady of the TUC said:

“The combination of recession and austerity has taken its toll on household finances, with income levels in the UK falling behind many of its European neighbours. ‘Even before the recession, household spending in the UK was far more reliant on debt than in other advanced economies. In order to address this as a country we need to obsess less about housing bubbles and focus instead on securing decent pay rises and creating better paid jobs.”