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The Guardian: "UK economic recovery built on shaky foundations - again"

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"A book published just before Blair left Downing Street described Britain as Fantasy Island. Its thesis was that the economy was built on shaky foundations, and that an almighty crash was coming.

"... There are four ways in which an economy grows. Companies can decide they need new kit (investment); Britain can sell more overseas than other countries sell here (net exports); the state can play a bigger role (government spending) or households can spend more (consumption).

"It has been the last of these sources of growth that has driven the rise in GDP since the turn of the year. Prices have been rising more rapidly than earnings, but that has not stopped consumers for going out on a bit of a spree. They have dipped into their savings and started to respond to the offers of unsecured lending, which, after a lull of a few years, have started to drop onto the doormat once again.

"... Most likely, growth will be dependent on easy money, rising debt and a temporary fall in inflation, prompted by falling food and commodity prices. It may take a couple of years before Britain again steams into the harbour on Fantasy Island, but if you look toward the horizon it's easy to see the palm trees swaying in the breeze."

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