This year marks a centenary of sorts. Back in 1919, with the first world war finally over, Britain woke up to a new reality. The days of being the world’s pre-eminent economic power were in the past.

In truth, the writing had been on the wall before 1914. The US and Germany had caught up with Britain before the assassination at Sarajevo and were forging ahead in the new sectors that had sprung up around the turn of the 20th century. Even in industries where the UK had traditionally been strong, such as coal, rival countries were much faster to deploy new, productivity-raising technology.

Even so, the aftermath of the first world war – a raging boom and a colossal bust in the space…


This is only a snippet of a Business Article written by Larry Elliott

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