Andrew Sentance begins by putting the current recovery in context. On the weakness of the GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2010, he says: "Economic recoveries are normally uneven - particularly in their early stages - and we should not be surprised to see significant fluctuations in the GDP growth rate from quarter to quarter." He adds that until the end of the last year, the recovery had been stronger than the equivalent recovery periods of the early 1980s and early 1990s. "Manufacturing industry has performed particularly strongly, benefiting from the global recovery and a competitive pound, and the recent annual growth of manufacturing output has been the strongest recorded since 1994", he notes. He argues that the latest employment data and business surveys for the early months of the year are consistent with a continuing economic recovery.