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Double Dipping - It's Confidence That's Key to Growing GDP

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So Britain is having its first double dip recession since the early 1970s.

For most of us 'double dipping' is a brand new phenomenon but, as consumers, sluggish to no growth feels just about where the economy has been since the financial crisis hit hard in 2008.

Of course over the past four years we have had some significant periods of more positive economic territory - the third quarter of 2010 saw 0.7% growth and the same quarter in 2011 saw a 0.6% uplift but not enough growth to improve consumer sentiment at a time of house price and job insecurity.

And it is that concept of confidence that is so vital for any economy.

The GDP news coming hard on the heels of the ongoing #omnishambles around the government right now is clearly not helpful towards personal or corporate confidence levels.

Much has been made of the record £750bn stuck on UK corporate balance sheets in cash. This number has grown steadily in the past ten years but has mushroomed since 2007. This is a clear sign that business remains very wary of the domestic and wider global economic situation - to be fair it is not just the UK.

In the US and Asia, territories where I spend an increasingly amount of my time, there appears to be greater confidence among business right now which is reflecting itself in their respective economic growth numbers.

The Chancellor is right to point to the ongoing uncertainties in the eurozone as a brake on UK growth. Last week I was in Washington in advance of the IMF Spring Meetings and I can testify to the same concerns about eurozone instability there.

I don't believe the UK needs a Plan B. Addressing the deficit is the fundamental reason why the UK remains a great place to invest. But, and it is a big BUT, I don't believe the government is both articulating and implementing its plans for getting the economy going fast enough.

UK infrastructure is a key example of this. In the autumn the government announced plans to create mechanisms to unlock pension fund investment into major new capital projects. From all I hear from the participants in these plans - progress is moving at a snails pace.

This is just one example - there are countless others.

The government needs to focus on policies to create confidence - not just for consumers to spend but for businesses to invest. In both cases incentivising this to take place without excessive debt levels once again.

Unleashing confidence is the key to unlocking greater growth - the government needs more focus and more urgency on just that.

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