Is the UK’s economy growing slower than any other country in the developed world?

1 June 2018
What was claimed

According to the OECD, the United Kingdom has the slowest growth in the developed world.

Our verdict

The UK has one of the slowest real GDP growth rates, but not the slowest, of a number of countries analysed by the OECD, but these don’t include all developed countries.

“We have the slowest growth in the developed world... that, according to the OECD is the United Kingdom.”

Kate Forbes MSP, 31 May 2018

This seems to be referring to a report released in March by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which projected the UK would have the slowest economic growth in the G20 in 2018. We’ve asked Ms Forbes’s office to check if that was the case.

Since then, the OECD has released updated figures saying that in 2018 the UK is projected to have one of the slowest economic growth rates both in the G20 and amongst a number of other countries outside this group, but not the slowest.

The OECD projects that the UK’s economy will grow by 1.4% this year and 1.3% next year, that’s once you account for inflation. This is higher than, for example, Japan which is projected to grow 1.2% this year and next year.

The G20 describes its members as the “world’s major economies” and includes both developed and developing countries.

What you count as a developed country depends on what measure you look at - the World Bank for example, measures a list of “high income” countries while the UN has a measure for countries with “very high human development.” Some of these will not be included in the OECD’s data.

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