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Is the UK economy really the worst in the developed world?

As we covered yesterday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a suggestion that the US and the UK economies, taking out the oil-producing countries, are the weakest in the world. To put this into perspective, the UK government is expected to borrow 9.5% of GDP in 2009 which is equivalent to £140 billion although this will increase further in 2010 to 11% of GDP equating to borrowings of £160 billion.

Despite the denial by the UK government that the UK economy is one of the weakest in the world, the corresponding figures for America are 7.7% of GDP in 2009 rising to 8.9% in 2010, still significantly lower than expectations for the UK government. This has blown wide open the constant boasting by the UK government that the economy and the country as a whole is in a very good position to recover swiftly as and when economies around the world start to grow again.

While the IMF report and conclusions are well respected in the international monetary and investment markets, this is not the first report to suggest that the UK economy is significantly weaker than most developed countries. As they say, the proof is in the pudding and it will be interesting to see exactly how the UK economy performs when all around it begin to recover.

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