The dark side of Britain’s recovery

Growth is back, the housing market is booming and shoppers are ever more confident - but that shopping spurt is not all good.

It might seem a relief after years of recession and stagnation, but there are reasons to be worried about the foundations of the new boom.

Official data out today shows the recovery is based on consumption soaring, while business investment is still falling.

On top of that, real wages continue to fall, as prices are rising more quickly than pay.

So where are shoppers finding the cash? More borrowing and less saving.

This last chart from the Office for National Statistics shows the savings rate taking a dive as households abandon the caution and steady saving of the post-crash years.