» Tuesday, January 26, 2010

GDP Figures

Asked whether the Prime Minister would be commenting on the figures released today, the PMS replied that the Chancellor had commented today and she would refer people back to the Prime Minister’s comments yesterday at his press conference, where he stressed the need to be confident but cautious about the economy and the recovery.

The Prime Minister had spoken about Government action helping to secure growth to lock in the recovery. The Prime Minister had also said that it was important that we invested in the economy to help people who were having a hard time and businesses that faced tough times get the investment and support they needed from the Government.

Put that the Prime Minister’s comments from yesterday were out of date, especially as the figures were far less buoyant than many had predicted, the PMS said that the Prime Minister’s view echoed the Chancellor’s; there was cautious confidence around the figures but there were potentially bumpy times ahead.

The PMS added that this was why we needed to lock in the recovery and maintain investment in the economy now, to ensure that we didn’t put at risk the recovery.

Asked if the Prime Minister was cautiously confident about the economy not going into negative growth in the first quarter of 2010, the PMS said that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor had both consistently said that there would be growth towards the end of the year and that was what this set of figures demonstrated. They were provisional figures and one of a number of different indicators.

Put that bumpy times would suggest figures going down, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor were very clear about locking in the recovery now. Removing any of the support the Government had provided for businesses or jobs would risk that recovery.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought all the investment in the banks and the economy as a whole was a price worth paying for 0.1% growth, the PMS replied that this had been the worst recession in 70 years; it was a global economic crisis that every country had had to face in different ways. The Prime Minister had said many times that the Government had taken unprecedented measures in order to secure the banking sector and secure the recovery.

The PMS added that it was about getting people back on their feet and into work, helping businesses and securing the recovery so that we could build a platform for the future and the tough decisions that lay ahead.

The PMS said that people also needed to understand the scale of the crisis that we and other countries were faced with. Measures were taken so that for example, our banking system did not collapse.

Asked if growth forecasts and debt forecasts would be looked at again in the Budget, the PMS replied that the Chancellor had commented on that today. Growth figures were set in the PBR and the Budget so she would refer people to the Treasury on that point.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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