Last week the UK Office for National Statistics announced that British GDP had reached its pre-crisis levels in the second quarter of 2014. As the figure above shows, in terms of year-on-year GDP growth rate, the UK has been one of the fastest growing Western European economies for the last year and a half and its growth has been accelerating. Germany, the second fastest growing economy, grows by 1% slower than the UK.
However, when put in a broader perspective, the UK economy still lags in comparison to other European economies. As the chart below shows, several of the major economies had already recovered to their pre-crisis GDP levels by the end of 2011, while the UK reached it only now. The reasons behind the British sluggish recovery could be many and their precise identification would require further analysis. However, in the context of long-term growth, the British performance is less impressive.
Note: GDP data for 2014Q2 was not yet available for the countries other than the UK at the time of publication.