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As UK economy rockets one man will reap the rewards (and it won’t be Rishi Sunak)

The Prim Minister is doing this in two ways. First, Sunak’s failure to get a grip on the country’s problems has left voters crying out for change. They don’t care who wins as long as it isn’t the Tories. Second, the economic recovery is finally coming, but too late for voters to notice.

As I wrote on Friday, things really are getting better. In fact, the UK economy went “gangbusters” at the start of 2024, growing at the fastest pace in two years.

That’s not me saying that or an excitable Tory politician, but Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Unfortunately, it probably won’t save Rishi Sunak. The recovery is upon us, just not quickly enough.

Even if voters do notice, they won’t forget the last two years of misery in a hurry.

Instead, the Labour Party will get the glory for the things that Sunak has belatedly got right.

The economy will bloom into life on Starmer’s watch, and as the incumbent, he will get the credit. Which may seem harsh, but that’s politics for you.

Last year’s recession turned out to be the “shortest and shallowest” on record, according to the ONS.

The economy grew by a meaty 0.6 percent in the first quarter of the year, beating both the US and Europe.

Only a week or so ago the OECD was claiming ours would be the slowest growing economy in the G7 over the next two years.

They’ve been talking us down for years. It’s almost as if they can’t forgive us for Brexit.

The UK is the third-best performing country in the G7 since the 2016 referendum, beating European rivals Germany, Italy and France.

Only the US and Canada have grown faster.

UK inflation is falling faster than elsewhere, too. From a peak of 11.1 percent in October 2022, it could slide to as low as two percent when April’s figure is published next week.

As a result, there’s a pretty solid chance that the Bank of England will cut interest rates at its next meeting on June 20. That’s just over a month away. 

That will be a huge boost for households and again, the UK is getting ahead of the game. The US Federal Reserve may not cut rates until 2025, some reckon.

The European Central Bank isn’t there, either. 

As if that wasn’t enough, the London stock market is booming with the FTSE 100 repeatedly breaking all-time highs.

Again, we’re beating Wall Street and European stock markets, admittedly after years of underperformance.

Let’s not get carried away. The UK has struggled since the 2008 financial crisis. Wages have barely risen in 15 years, once inflation is taken into account. Millions are feeling poorer, and they don’t like it.

Our public services are a mess. NHS waiting lists are at record highs. Crime is rising. The boats keep coming. There’s a reason Sunak is all at sea.

Yet 27million workers are feeling better off as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s double National Insurance cuts feed through to their pay packets.

More than 12 million pensioners are also to the good, as this year’s 8.5 percent state pension triple lock increase looks like being four times the inflation rate.

Rishi Sunak has repeated his mantra that the “plan is working” and the economy has “turned a corner”.

Yet voters refuse to notice. Which is forgivable, given everything they’ve been through.

No wonder Sunak appears to be putting off the election until the last minute. He’s hoping his message will finally penetrate the gloom.

It’s a race against time and right now, it looks like Sunak will lose.

The biggest single beneficiary of our recovery will be Starmer himself. He will inherit an economy on the up. Let’s hope he doesn’t mess up his legacy. Sunak’s worked hard to hand it to him.


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