Today’s GDP figures underline the sheer scale of the international recession that we’re fighting. It’s a force that has taken unemployment in the US to around 10% – and in Spain to nearly 20%. But today’s provisional figures for April-June this year are about three times better than for the first three months of the year. That says the pace of the downturn is easing – which is why the Government is confident – but cautious – that growth will return towards the end of the year.
What today also shows is why such a bold recovery plan was needed from government. Our action – moving £20 billion into the economy plus action from the Bank of England to slash interest rates to 0.5% and introduce ‘quantitative easing’ could be supporting upto 450,000 jobs. We’re taking these steps to make sure we do everything possible to support jobs and people in their homes, and protect people from the worst of the storm. We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the 1980s. That would be bad ethics and bad economics.