Has the UK economy been rebalanced?

[Co-authored with Colin Hay].

My SPERI British Political Economy Brief detailing an evaluation of the success of the coalition government’s economic rebalancing agenda.

In this Brief, the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) considers the available evidence on whether the UK economy has experienced any significant degree of ‘rebalancing’ since 2010. The need to correct a range of structural imbalances in the British economy became a defining motif of economic policy discourse in the UK in the years following the crisis. It has become associated in particular with the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, but has
emerged as a rare shared objective in economic policy for all the major political parties. The Brief examines data on imbalances between the financial and manufacturing sectors, Northern and Southern regions, imports and exports, investment and consumption, and debt and saving. Specifically, it considers whether there has been any significant shift in pre-crisis trends during the life of the Coalition government. It finds, however, that the UK economy has not been rebalanced in any meaningful or significant sense.

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