Belfast Telegraph

It's taken six years but, whisper it, growth is back and it could be real

By David Elliott

Happy anniversary! You've probably forgotten, what with concentrating on knocking the economy back into shape and all that. But today is the sixth anniversary of the global economic crisis/credit crunch/downturn (delete as appropriate or insert your own economic experience here).

When we woke up on August 9, 2007, there wasn't much to indicate that things were amiss.

Sure there had been rumours about the likes of investment bank Bear Stearns but nothing to get too worked up about and interrupt our enjoyment of a relatively good summer.

The UK economy was expanding by 3% a year, you'd struggle to find a queue at the dole office and dinner parties were populated by the type of bore who revelled in the double-digit rise in their three-bed semi.

But then: boom.

In an unprecedented move, both the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve, two institutions which had largely sat on the sidelines for the years leading up to 2007, were forced to inject £45bn into their respective economies.

That was expected to act as a soothing balm on jittery nerves which had been frayed by BNP Paribas' announcement that it can't pay out on two of its funds, but instead was akin to throwing petrol on embers.

The rest, as they say, is history and each anniversary of that momentous day hasn't given us much indication that the battle-weary global economy is on the road to being ship-shape and Bristol fashion.

But this one, an unbelievable six years since it all kicked off, seems to be different.

GDP is slowly recovering, the new central bank governor has taken the reins with aplomb and any number of economic indicators are, if not reflecting rosy conditions, at least showing a flicker of health.

It's tentative, and certainly whisper it quietly, but it seems growth is back.

Belfast Telegraph

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