Balance of Payments: where is Britain in the Global Race?
Today, Eurostat published balance of payments figures for the third quarter of 2012. The UK has run a balance of payments deficit for fifteen years, which is especially worrying – long-term deficits like this tend to be a signal of weakening competitiveness, of a preference for foreign producers and service providers over domestic alternatives.
The Eurostat figures cover 6 of the G7 countries (unfortunately they don’t include Canada) and the UK came next to bottom, well below the EU average and substantially below the Euro Zone. Today’s figures go back two years, so we can see how countries’ performance has improved (or got worse) compared with the same quarter twelve and twenty four months ago. Unfortunately, the UK is an underperformer by this yardstick too: