Just after the results of the Brazilian presidential elections were made public a few days ago, giving current President Dilma Rouseff of the leftist Workers Party a small margin of victory over her opponent Aécio Neves, the British weekly magazine The Economist did what it always does, and came up with one of their worst ever statements.
The spectacular GDP growth recorded by some West African countries in the past 5 years is all of a sudden undermined by the spread of the Ebola virus. The epidemic has put under the spotlight the poor conditions of health systems in the region, but also the fragility of economic models measured only by Gross Domestic Product.
In 2013, the government deficit, according to the latest available Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, was £92.9billion, which was 5.8% of GDP. All our major political parties are fixated on getting this deficit down by cutting expenditure and raising taxes. But should they be quite so determined to do so? Is austerity really the best way to cut the deficit?
Since the election, output for every hour worked has not gone up - it's gone down, whilst output per worker has followed the same trajectory. We're actually less productive than we were in 2010. This appalling record is far worse than the last years of the 1970s, long deemed the moment when 'British disease' reached its peak.
Now I know what a steamroller can do. The last year has been the most dramatic and the most traumatic ever for the co-operative sector. For years, you wait for the mainstream business press to pick up on the potential of the co-operative model in today's more open and fluid world of enterprise, and then...wham.
The problem is, despite the austerity narrative, public spending continues to rise and our debts continue to grow. There are currently a number of other issues thrown into the political mix such as; Scottish independence, immigration and Europe. Whilst these are of course important issues, they perhaps distract from the key fiscal debate.
Voters from the 28 member nations of the European Union delivered an election earthquake on May 25. Results show major gains in the European Parliament for anti-integration, Euroskeptic parties which span the ideological spectrum from the extreme-right National Front which won the ballot in France, to the far-left Syriza Party which came first in Greece.
Britons appear by nature to be pessimistic with regard to the economy. We have now had 11 consecutive months of positive EOI scores - the second longest on record, behind a 15 month period around and following the 1987 general election. If we are to see this optimism to continue into the 2015 general election, it will beat the record by a full eight months.
In the past five years, the global economy has experienced some of the most phenomenal uncertainties in its history. Yet we are already on the path to recovery. If you look at global trends between 2008 and 2013, it's easy to see the world is once again becoming a busy producer of goods. Exports are on the rise, and with them global GDP indicators.
"We could be poorer - or richer - than we think. We don't really know how wealthy we are." That is the opinion of Vicky Price, economist and one-time joint head of the government's economic service. Her sense of disquiet is sparked by the fact that the standard measure of a country's wealth - GDP - in fact leaves out so much.