Britain’s nothing economy

Posted on 11 Sep 2008 by The Manufacturer

Rob Thompson is worried that our insistent reliance on 'knowledge' industries is ruining our trade figures and leaving us fall short of other European countries...

Britain’s economy is built on blah, blah, blah.

1. The Germans export motor vehicles trailers and semi-trailers, electrical machinery, chemicals and chemicals products
2. The French specialise in machinery and transport equipment, agricultural products, including wine
3. The Italians send electric goods (especially home appliances), food, fashion and clothing.

And the Brits?

While we do plastics, aerospace products and electrical and electronic equipment, we’re also the world’s second largest exporter of services, including banking, insurance, stockbroking, consultancy and computer programming. In other words, “knowledge workers”.

But it’s devastating our trade figures.

Last year the UK’s deficit from the trade in goods amounted to £60bn, around 5% of GDP, and the services we sold abroad only reduced it to 4%. The Government’s confidence in knowledge workers is totally divorced from reality.

While ministers talk about braining up to face the future, the country’s fastest growing profession is hairdressing.

Come on, is this really our future?

By Rob Thompson of LearnSigma blog.

Is Rob right? Is the future looking bleak for British industry? What needs to be done? Leave a comment below or email [email protected].