Angela Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said in response to today’s manufacturing PMI data, Bank of England lending figures and Ipsos MORI consumer confidence survey:
“This disappointing set of figures is further evidence that last year's economic recovery is stalling. Even the manufacturing sector now seems to have joined consumers in entering a more difficult phase.
“This bad news comes after last week’s figures showing bank lending to small businesses missing the Government’s targets, record Government borrowing in April, President Obama’s refusal to endorse the pace of the Government’s cuts and the chief economist of the OECD warning that the pace of the cuts should be reconsidered if growth remains weak.
“Our economy should be growing strongly this year. But by cutting too far and too fast, confidence has taken a huge knock and growth is now set to be slower and unemployment higher than forecast before George Osborne’s first Budget last year.
“The result of this weak growth, higher inflation and higher unemployment is that the Government is now set to borrow £46 billion more than they had planned. That’s why we say George Osborne risks getting us into a vicious circle. He needs to think again on the speed and scale of the cuts, and realise that getting the economy growing strongly again and more people into work is the best way to get the deficit down.”