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Express & Star comment: Things aren't as bad as people say

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

It was once famously said that it was ‘the economy, stupid’ that saw Bill Clinton win the US Presidential election at the expense of George HW Bush.

It's the economy, stupid

The phrase has become a truism of politics the world over, with most politicians agreeing that when it comes to winning the public’s favour, it pays dividends to have a booming economy.

In modern day Britain, for all the doom and gloom surrounding the economy in light of the Brexit vote, things are actually rather good.

Not that you would know it by looking at the constant barrage of negativity that is put out on a daily basis by the likes of the BBC.

The Office for National Statistics said Britain’s GDP increased by 0.6 per cent in the three-month period to July, driven mainly by the nation’s booming services sector.

And the latest employment figures are also extremely promising.

Over the same three-month period unemployment across the West Midlands was down to 134,000 – a huge 18.4 per cent drop on the same time a year ago.

Experts say this is down to strong recruitment, particularly in the retail and warehousing sectors.

Across the country the jobless rate is the lowest in 40 years, with wages rising much faster than had been expected.

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So in spite of all the concerns around our departure from the EU, things really could be a lot worse.

Certainly, some of our European neighbours will be envious of such employment figures.

Take Spain for example, where the youth unemployment rate is around the 35 per cent mark.

The question is, will this be enough to keep Theresa May in office for the duration of her term?

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She will certainly welcome any good news at a time when her Government appears to be teetering on the brink of a very messy split.

There is still a note of caution, though.

We have seen too many big businesses collapse in recent times, including the likes of Carillion and BHS. The future of Wolverhampton’s Beatties store still hangs in the balance.

Here in the West Midlands we should welcome the positive news regarding employment figures, although we must not rest on our laurels.

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