Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Thursday, September 16, 1999 Published at 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK

Business: The Economy

Brown urges prudence for prosperity

The economy is set for high growth and low inflation

Chancellor Gordon Brown has offered a vision of a prosperous future for the UK - as long as it sticks to a disciplined economic path.

The BBC's Ed Crooks reports: "The state of the economy today does look remarkably healthy"
The Chancellor told the Council for Foreign Relations in New York that the UK economy was on course to meet the higher end of his growth forecast - 2.75% in 2000 and 3.25% the year after.

In his most important statement on the economy's performance since the Budget, Mr Brown said the opportunity existed for a "virtuous circle" of low inflation, high investment and high, stable levels of growth.

The BBC's Chris Giles: "Lucky Gordon"
But he warned that he would not risk undermining this with a spending spree or tax handouts.

Mr Brown said: "In Britain we are working for stability and steady growth, and we can reach our full potential if we take the right long-term decisions.

[ image: Brown:
Brown: "No short-termist dash for growth"
"It is only by tough discipline in monetary and fiscal policy that we have created a platform of stability over the last two years.

"We will not make the mistake of past governments which relaxed the moment the economy started to grow.

"The same tough grip will continue."

The Chancellor set out four key conditions for achieving its growth potential:

  • Pro-active monetary policy and prudent fiscal policy

  • Getting more unemployed off welfare and into work

  • Responsible pay bargaining

  • Investment in new technology and skills

Mr Brown said: "All these conditions must be met.

"If we can achieve these, then I believe that the upper end of our growth range is within our reach."

The BBC's Ed Crooks: "The economy looks like living up to the most optimistic Treasury predictions"
He devoted little of his speech to the UK's possible adoption of the European single currency, restating the government's "wait and see" stance.

City analysts endorsed the Chancellor's vision of a prosperous Britain.

Director of the National Institute of Economic & Social Research, Martin Weale gives his assessment
Patrick Foley, chief economic adviser for Lloyds TSB bank, said: "I think his prediction is not far off.

"It is obvious that the economy is recovering more strongly than any forecaster predicted six months ago.

"I would not disagree with Mr Brown's analysis of 3% growth, in fact I would say it is quite likely."

Shadow Chancellor Francis Maude argues that Britain was "a whisker away from a recession"
However, the Chancellor's performance was condemned by his Conservative shadow, Francis Maude, who accused Labour of a "great betrayal" by increasing taxes.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "What's happened in the last year is that Britain came within a whisker of going into recession.

"Manufacturing did go into recession for the best part of a year, many parts of the country took a real beating."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

The Economy Contents

Relevant Stories

16 Sep 99 | UK Politics
Chancellor's election tease

16 Sep 99 | Business
Q&A: Booming Britain

15 Sep 99 | The Economy
Budget bonanza as UK growth revives

01 Sep 99 | The Economy
Boom time ahead for UK?

25 Aug 99 | The Economy
UK public spending at record low

23 Aug 99 | The Economy
Economy on target for growth

18 Aug 99 | The Economy
The 'new economy' - too good to be true?

Internet Links

HM Treasury

Forecasts for the UK economy

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Inquiry into energy provider loyalty

Brown considers IMF job

Chinese imports boost US trade gap

No longer Liffe as we know it

The growing threat of internet fraud

House passes US budget

Online share dealing triples

Rate fears as sales soar

Brown's bulging war-chest

Oil reaches nine-year high

UK unemployment falls again

Trade talks deadlocked

US inflation still subdued

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Bank considered bigger rate rise

UK pay rising 'too fast'

Utilities face tough regulation

CBI's new chief named

US stocks hit highs after rate rise

US Fed raises rates

UK inflation creeps up

Row over the national shopping basket

Military airspace to be cut

TUC warns against following US

World growth accelerates

Union merger put in doubt

Japan's tentative economic recovery

EU fraud costs millions

CBI choice 'could wreck industrial relations'

WTO hails China deal

US business eyes Chinese market

Red tape task force

Websites and widgets

Guru predicts web surge

Malaysia's economy: The Sinatra Principle

Shell secures Iranian oil deal

Irish boom draws the Welsh

China deal to boost economy

US dream scenario continues

Japan's billion dollar spending spree