Economic growth : past trends and future prospects of advanced economies

McLaren, John (2012) Economic growth : past trends and future prospects of advanced economies. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 36 (1). pp. 71-80. ISSN 2046-5378

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    The main purpose of this article is to consider the future prospects for economic growth in advanced economies, including the UK and Scotland, in the light of recent past trends. In general, the data used throughout this article is shown in terms of GDP per capita (in constant price terms). Both academic economists (eg. Nick Crafts1) and economic institutions (eg. OECD2) consider that changes in GDP per capita are more relevant than simple GDP growth, in terms of judging the shifts in real living standards. However, in most of the following discussion, the same general conclusions would also be valid in a GDP growth context. Part One looks at how slow any bounce-back in economic growth has been, following the latest recession, especially in comparison to other recessions. Part Two looks at changes to economic growth rates over the past four decades for advanced economies and what this might imply for future growth rates. Part Three looks at sources of economic growth and what areas of economic policy need to re-considered in order to improve future prospects. Part Four provides a brief summary.