OECD Economic Surveys: United Kingdom

Every 18 months
1999-0502 (online)
1995-3445 (print)
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OECD’s periodic surveys of the British economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

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OECD Economic Surveys: United Kingdom 2015

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24 Feb 2015
9789264229051 (EPUB) ; 9789264227255 (PDF) ;9789264218703(print)

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This OECD Economic Survey of the United Kingdom examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. Special chapters cover improving infrastructure and ensuring sustainable bank lending.

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    • Improving infrastructure

      The United Kingdom (UK) has spent less on infrastructure compared to other OECD countries over the past three decades. The perceived quality of UK infrastructure assets is close to the OECD average but lower than in other G7 countries. Capacity constraints have emerged in some sectors, such as electricity generation, air transport and roads. Developing and regularly updating a national infrastructure strategy, with the National Infrastructure Plan being a welcome first step in this direction, would contribute to reduce policy uncertainty and tackle capacity constraints in a durable way. The design of coherent development plans by local authorities congruent with the national and local planning systems should continue to improve project delivery. The government intends to finance a large share of infrastructure spending to 2020 and beyond through private capital. Unlocking private investment in a cost effective and transparent way could be supported by further improving incentives for greenfield investment, continuing to carefully assess and record public-private partnerships, and promoting more long-term financing instruments.

    • Enhancing the financing of the real economy and financial stability

      The banking sector in the United Kingdom (UK) was deeply affected by the crisis. Bank credit has collapsed reflecting both weak demand and tighter supply. New prudential requirements have improved the resilience of the banking sector and a number of measures were taken to support credit supply. These included conventional and unconventional monetary policies, policies to address credit constraints with Help to Buy and Funding for Lending programmes, and a number of public programmes to improve access to finance united under the roof of the British Business Bank. Further structural reforms are needed to improve competition in the SME credit market and to boost credit provision to SMEs in the medium term. Sustainable financing of the economy and greater financial stability should be achieved by sound regulation, ensuring high capital requirements for systemically important banks, improving banks’ resolvability and fine-tuning the use of countercyclical measures. Data should be collected on a wider set of financial institutions than currently done and macro-prudential regulation should be gradually extended beyond the banking sector to prevent the migration of systemic risks.

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