General assessment

Quarterly Bulletin 1983 Q4
Published on 01 December 1983

After three years of virtual stagnation the economy of the industrial world has shown modest growth in 1983. Inflation has generally slowed to a pace last seen in the early 1970s. The UK economy, having suffered a steeper recession than most, is now among the leaders; and from having been among the most inflationary industrial countries it is now among the low inflation ones.

The greater fall of inflation in the United Kingdom has contributed to a stronger rise in consumer spending than in other countries; this has been an important constituent of the revival of demand and output. It seems likely that consumer demand will soon expand less strongly, though to date both the growth of retail sales and the pace of mortgage lending which has supported it, have remained rapid. Monetary trends need to be interpreted in the context of the continuing force of competition and institutional change in financial markets.

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