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Special report - The UK economy

This report explores many of the hot issues now facing the UK and global economy.

Economic growth is generally perceived as crucial to the economy; governments tout the Gross Domestic Product growth figures as trophies proving the prowess and righteousness of their policies. The determinants of economic growth however, are many and various and often outside any one government’s control.

Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross Country Empirical Study (Barro,1996), studied 100 countries’ growth rates over 30 years and found that the strongest pushes for economic growth are earlier starting ages for school, greater longevity, low government consumption, low fertility rates, good investment levels in technological improvements and better maintenance of the law.

The UK’s poor investment in research and development relative to the OECD average is a cause for concern. Countries which have very high levels of investment in R&D (more than 3% of GDP) show consistently higher growth rates than those investing less than 2%. The UK is investing just over 1.5% and has been for many years. The OECD average has risen slowly from about 2.1% in 2000 to 2.4% in 2016.

I hope you enjoy the wide range of articles in this report which explore many of the hot issues now facing the UK and global economy. Please email bam@icaew.com if you have any suggestions or comments about the faculty and our publications.

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