Monday, February 25, 2013

How Austerity Stifled The British Economy (And The Rest Of Europe) In Three Charts

Last week, the United Kingdom received its first ever credit downgrade, as continued austerity has dragged down the country’s economic growth. Britain’s conservative government, however, is forging ahead. Finance Minister George Osborne yesterday called for the UK to “stick to its course.”

The UK, though, is a prime example for why austerity should be avoided in a weak economy. As this chart from Reuters’ shows, the U.S., which embraced stimulus after the 2008 financial crisis, is in much better shape than the European countries that went for austerity:

As this chart shows, the UK has not at all lived up to the projections for economic growth that were made in 2010:

Austerity has actually had the opposite of its intended effect in the UK, killing growth while not bringing down debt. And that’s held true across Europe, as this chart from economists Paul De Grauwe and Yuemei Ji shows:

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