Britain cautious despite dip in jobless rate
By Ben Perry, AFPLONDON--Britain's unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in July to the lowest point since late 2012, official data showed Wednesday, but the government warned against over-optimism amid ongoing cuts to state spending.
September 13, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
Unemployment fell to 7.7 percent in the three months to July from 7.8 percent in the three months to June, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.
That marked the lowest level since the three months to November 2012, adding to recent evidence that Britain was steadily recovering from a long-lasting recession. Market expectations had been for no change.
“Of course it's welcome when unemployment falls but we have got a long way to go,” Prime Minister David Cameron said during his weekly PMQ session in parliament.
Cameron spoke two days after finance minister George Osborne insisted that recent economic data has vindicated his austerity measures and warned that any backtracking could jeopardize the recovery.
Cameron and Osborne's Conservative party head a coalition government which also comprises the Liberal Democrats.
Business Secretary Vince Cable, himself a member of the Liberal Democratss, meanwhile used a speech Wednesday to warn over the dangers of “complacency” regarding the country's economic recovery.
“We can't rest on our laurels,” Cable told business leaders at a conference in Warwick, central England.
“The kind of growth we want won't simply emerge of its own volition. In fact, I see a number of dangers. One is complacency, generated by a few quarters of good economic data.”
Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.7 percent in the second quarter, upwardly revised data showed last month. Analysts said that the latest unemployment data have helped to confirm Britain's steady recovery.