Economic well-being: Four charts that show how the UK's growth compares to its European neighbours

Clara Guibourg
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How does the UK's growth compare to its neighbours? (Source: Getty)

The UK economy has been growing at a healthier pace than Germany or France over the past year - but its growth can’t match the boom in recovering Spain.

New GDP figures released today showed the British economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the latest quarter. But how are we doing in other metrics?

The Office for National Statistics has compared European countries’ economic well-being by using key economic indicators. Here’s how Britain is performing compared to its neighbours:

1. The UK is growing quicker

GDP per capita grew 2.2 per cent between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 - beating both Germany and France, after initially falling further than both countries in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Britain’s GDP per capita has recovered, rising to 6.8 per cent above the nadir it hit in 2009.

2. We have more cash to spend

We’ve been lining our pockets, it turns out: UK households' disposable income was up more than either France or Germany’s.

In the past year, it’s grown 3.9 per cent - although looking back further it’s been quite flat.

(All that extra cash has made us want to shop, and spending has gone up by 2.7 per cent. This is faster than Germany, France, Italy and Greece - only Spain manages to outstrip us.)

3. We’re badly in debt compared to our neighbours

Household indebtedness is higher than in France, Greece, Spain, Germany or Italy. It has been generally creeping downwards since 2007, but still stands at 145.3 per cent of GDP.

4. We’re much less likely to be unemployed

The UK’s unemployment has been dropping over the past year. Now standing at 5.5 per cent, it’s below the OECD average, and far below Spain or Greece.

Germany still has us beat though, with unemployment of just 4.8 per cent.

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