How the UK economy weathered the financial storm
Prior to the global financial crisis of 2008, the UK had the largest banking sector asset to GDP ratio among large countries, and had experienced rapid real property price increases as well as a persistent current account deficit in the preceding decade. These factors, together with its role as an international financial centre, made the UK economy particularly vulnerable to the onset of the global financial crisis. Although the initial drop in real GDP was steep, we provide evidence that the economy has weathered the financial storm better than many feared, and has fared no worse than its peer group of major economies. In this paper we assess the reasons underlying this outcome, including the possibility of exaggerated vulnerabilities, global economic recovery, the flexible supply side of the UK economy, as well as fiscal, financial and monetary policy interventions. Our analysis suggests that all of these factors played a role in cushioning the impact on the UK real economy, leading to a more benign outcome than most observers expected.
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