While our economy was contracting by 0.7 per cent, America’s was growing by 0.4 per cent, according to the first estimate just released by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. But, as the graph below shows, those 2012 Q2 figures just represent a continuation of the divergent economic paths the two countries have been on since 2010. In America: steady if unspectacular growth. In the UK: stagnation followed by a second recession.
P.S. The Americans report GDP figures as ‘annualised growth rates’ — that is, the percentage GDP would grow by if it grew for a whole year at the same rate as it did in the quarter — which is why you’ll see a figure of 1.5 per cent in US reports today. On that metric, the British economy contracted at an annualised rate of 2.8 per cent in Q2.