The “massive self-confidence boost” given to the UK by the Olympics could help drag the country out of economic trouble, David Cameron suggested yesterday.
• David Cameron says Olympic Games in London have given UK “massive self-confidence boost”
• PM’s remarks arrive as trade deficit widens to record level and BoE predicts flat output for this year
Opinion polls at the close of the London Games show a significant public pride both in Team GB and the ability to host a successful global event.
With the end of the sporting extravaganza, voters’ attention is bound to refocus, however, on what the Prime Minister conceded remained a “very tough economic situation”.
Shock GDP figures released just days before the Games began showed a worse-than-expected 0.7 per cent decline between April and June putting the UK in the longest double-dip recession probably since the Second World War.
And while Team GB was finding sporting success, there was more bad news for the economy, with the trade deficit widening to a record level and the Bank of England predicting flat output for this year.
But Mr Cameron said the success of the Games showed the UK could “turn things around”.
He said: “It is an enormous confidence-booster about who we are as a country, what we can do, what we stand for, and the fact that we can make our way in a very tough and competitive world,” he said.
“We do face a very tough economic situation and I do not belittle that at all. It is a very tough economic world we are in. But in a way, what these Games show is that if you work hard enough at something, if you plan something, if you are passionate enough about something, you can turn things around.
“I think that is the lesson people can take from these Games.”
He went on: “It has been a massive self-confidence boost. We can all feel that we don’t just have a great past behind us; we have got a great future ahead.
“This is a very confident country which has delivered something on time, on budget, superbly well done. A country that can not just deliver but can shine while it does so.”