In 1980, the Wilson Report1 found that the main weaknesses of the British economy lay in the slow growth of productivity, in recurrent balance of payment crises (leading to serious sterling devaluations in 1967, 1972 and 1976) and in a high inflation rate. As we have seen in Chapter 3, the first was a really long-lasting issue: for a long time the UK had been losing ground as compared to other industrial countries. In the period under consideration (1950–1980), this relative decline continued. In reference to the other two countries, while British output in 1980 was slightly more than double the level of 1950, American and Italian outputs were, respectively, 3.5 and 4.5 times the level of 30 years earlier. At the end of this period, Italy’s output was higher than Britain’s, even in per capita terms.2


Monetary Policy Central Bank Fair Trading Banking System Money Market 
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© Alessandro Roselli 2012

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