In a recent New York Times column, economist Paul Krugman raises the spectre of a ‘growth slowdown’. ‘A growing number of economists,’ he writes, 'looking at the data on productivity and incomes, are wondering if the technological revolution has been greatly overhyped.'
You have probably heard that the price of crude oil has tumbled from $115 per barrel (159 litres, an archaic but established unit of measurement) in June 2014 to $54 in March 2015.
Drivers have been rejoicing since the start of the year at the plummeting price of visiting the pumps. From a peak in early 2012 of over £1.40 a litre in the UK, there are now reports of a litre of fuel available for 99p. Over in the US it’s a similar story with many states now selling a gallon for under the $2 mark.
Taken at face value, David Cameron’s warning this week about risks in the global economy sounds like it might be wonderfully prescient. Here’s the country’s economic chauffeur, carefully checking his instrument gauges, and sure enough, sees the same signs today that should have given us warning of the crisis of 2007-08. Time to apply the brakes.
The EU has demanded rapid payment of £1.7 billion from the UK because our economy has done better than predicted, and some of this is due to the prostitution market now being considered as part of our National Accounts and contributing an extra £5.3 billion to GDP at 2009 prices, which is 0.35% of GDP, half that of agriculture. But is this a reasonable estimate?