When all things are taken into account, the UK is investing almost nothing in its economic future. The Coalition government may have conjured some temporary growth, but this will disappear without much more new investment and if we want to avoid long-term decline we need to act right now. The hard fact is that productivity growth in the UK has ground to a halt and there's a very simple reason for this: the UK, for the first time since the start of the Industrial Revolution, has virtually stopped investing in the type of economic activities which are capable of delivering increases in output per head of the population.
They are more likely to be following the maxim, "Live longer, work longer," but how much work do they actually do? Being "self-employed" may seem preferable to being "retired" and definitely better than "unemployed," even if many of the self-employed are in tiny jobs, working only a few hours a week. In truth, some may be happy with that, but not all are.
So you might think Cuba is a rather sad place with not a lot of hope. But that's not the Cuba I saw. As if buoyed on by its musical heartbeat (Salsa and Rumba are everywhere) I saw a Cuba where the human spirit is very much alive.
If standard class carriages generate 61% more income, then it would seem to be a simple financial decision to start converting first class carriages on their own initiative? This does depend on more demand being created for standard class.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released information on changes in self-employment, and confirms what we have said for years: the increase is an issue more of desperation than any 'entrepreneurial spirit'.
All the indicators suggest to me that the growth that we have is almost entirely due to the velocity of cash within the economy. The more times a pound is spent and re spent the greater the flow and this has an upward effect on growth.
Britain faces huge challenges to compete in a world being transformed by the pace of technological change and the rapid rise of emerging economies, which whilst intensifying competition are also creating huge new markets and new opportunities. The government is failing to meet these challenges and to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and ease the burden on households. After four years of Conservative-led government, wages after inflation are on average £1,600 a year lower than in 2010.
Today, the UK economy is in a lot better shape. Growth of 3.2% in the year to July - the strongest in the G10 - and the fears that to hold off on rate rises would create potential for dangerous bubbles in credit markets have been enough to move the votes of Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty to vote for a 25bps increase.
Our balance of payments deficit is far too high. In fact we have not had a surplus on our trade in goods since 1982 and we have not had an overall surplus in any year since 1983 - 30 years ago. As a result, we are unable to run our economy at full throttle.
Globalisation has transformed the way we do business... Governments worldwide are grappling with the challenges, albeit with mixed success. And they are looking to each other for inspiration. In my view they could do worse than seek to emulate the success the UK is starting to achieve.
As I write, the likelihood of imminent rate rises in the UK still hangs in the balance, following the release of another strong set of employment figures and, shortly afterwards, a still surprisingly dovish Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report, (QIR).
"It seems a muddle", I wondered aloud after he presented the Bank's latest outlook for the economy. What was his response? He glowered, and shot back: "You're muddled, I'm afraid." Sitting at his side, deputy governor Ben Broadbent duly chuckled at Carney's catty response. I was almost surprised he didn't offer a saucer of milk.
I am a skeptic. Some years ago, my mother 'blamed' this on my education in science. And it's true, over the years of analysing molecules and ideas I have become extraordinarily critical. I challenge most things I read in the news; doctors' diagnoses and marketing campaigns
With the UK economy said to be recovering for the first time in six years, any moves to restructure and guide the UK banking sector towards risk prevention is a positive contribution toward strengthening the economy.
oris Johnson today setting out some of the changes he and his economic adviser Gerard Lyons think would be necessary to see Britain benefit from continued EU membership is a welcome step in the right direction. But for all his robustness and rabble-rousing rhetoric, there were more than a few moments where the Mayor fell down on detail.
One of the areas to see the biggest falls in proportions of consumers cutting back is holiday spending. This time last year, over half (53%) of consumers said they would be cutting back on holiday spending in the coming months. That figure now stands 15 percentage points lower at 38%.