L’année 2014 s’est clôturée sur de très bons chiffres pour le Royaume-Uni, celui-ci serait même maintenant la 5ème puissance économique mondiale, la France descendant à la 6ème place. À quatre mois des élections générales du 7 mai 2015, ces résultats ne peuvent qu’être de bon augure pour David Cameron.
According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, an independent statistics institute based in London, the United Kingdom has overtaken France by a whisker to become the world’s fifth largest economy. UK gross domestic product is expected to total $2.828 trillion (£1.816 trillion) this year, whereas French GDP will only reach $2.827 trillion. Indeed, last year’s gap between the two economies was as high as $200 billion in favour of France, but its economy has barely grown this year, while the Eurozone is at risk of slipping into a deflationary spiral. The UK’s economy grew by 3.2% this year, and it is also still on course to leapfrog Germany and become Europe’s top economy by 2030, helped by its younger workforce and position outside the Eurozone.
However, this growth acceleration was also boosted by the inclusion of sex and illegal drugs in the calculation of UK growth while France has refused to count it because it does not consider them to be “voluntary commercial activities” but a “dependency” that does not involve “free will”, according to Eric Dubois, a director at INSEE. Official estimates show prostitution added about £5.7 billion to the UK economy, while illegal drugs were worth about £6.62 billion.
Needless to say, this could be good news for Prime Minister David Cameron, who is looking forward to the May 2015 general elections. Indeed, Mr. Cameron was congratulated on all sides for his amazing leadership and the success of his policies. At the Global Economy conference in Washington, the IMF director, Christine Lagarde, praised David Cameron for his results: improving growth, lower deficit and decreasing unemployment. She even designated the UK and the US as models for the world. Indeed, the UK commands its European neighbours’ respect as their growth is generally ‘low’ and ‘fragile’. It is a surprising turnaround for the IMF, whose chief economist Olivier Blanchard accused George Osborne of ‘playing with fire’ in 2013.
Mr. Cameron also enjoyed a warm welcome from his American counterpart, President Barack Obama. The President described the UK as an ‘indispensable partner’ for the US, meanwhile Mr. Cameron said that he was ‘a great friend’ to his country and to him ‘personally’. With the IMF endorsement, and Barack Obama’s support, David Cameron was given a substantial political boost with less than four months until the general election.
Thus, the UK overtook France to be the fifth largest economy in the world, even though the calculations aren’t the same. It’s evidence that Cameron’s economic policy has worked and that’s good news as the Tories are basing their 2015 general election campaign on it. We will still have other sectors to comfort ourselves with: cuisine, fashion, tourism and mountains… The Scafell Pike measures only 978 meters high, the Mont Blanc 4,810. And it’s not likely to change anytime soon.
Indy DOUSSINET & Tommy LEVY-PAPE