Green shoots

Green shoots
See also

Green shoots - this term applies to the economy. It names quick beginnings of economic growth after a recession. When we used it, it means that we can see the first sign that a situation is improving, especially an economic situation. The metaphor was popularized in Britain by its (over-optimistic) use in 1991 by the chancellor of the exchequer Norman Lamont, to characterize signs of economic recovery[1].


This is the term used to describe signs of economic recovery or positive data during an economic downturn. We can distinguish more facts which show details of this term:

  • The term "green shoots" is a suggestion for the regeneration and growth of plants, which was used in the economy to describe signs of growth;
  • The term "green shoots" began with Chancellor Norman Lamont to describe the signals of the forthcoming economic growth in the United Kingdom in 1991;

The statement was very widely commented on because of the tragic financial problems that many British citizens were struggling with at the time. Despite the controversial beginning, this expression is still in the dictionary of economists and politicians as a way of suggesting that the recovery is underway, even if it does not seem to be the case from the general public[2].


For the first time in this sense, this term was used by Norman Lamont, then Chancellor of the Treasury of Great Britain, during the 1991 recession. At that time, Chancellor Lamont was criticized for "insensitivity." This phrase was again used by Baroness Vader, former UK business minister in January 2009, to report on the activities to the media and opposition politicians. in the United States by this term is associated Bruce Kasman, chief economist JPMorgan Chase, who said it is too early to get excited, but he thinks there are a few green shoots that can be seen in the past[3]. Green shoots, however, gained greater publicity when it was used by US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to describe the crisis during the interview in 60 minutes (in March 2009). Bernanke predicted the future. The biggest problems since the collapse of the mortgage (the defeat of Lehman Brothers) in fact ended. However, the green shoots of Bernanke did not see strong growth. Instead, the number of financial system failures decreased, and years after that, people were still struggling with double mortgages[4].

Receipt of society[edit]

Similar to previous situations, it was seen by Bernanke critics as wishful thinking combined with a lack of appreciation for the economic pain that Americans were experiencing as part of the financial crisis. Other people saw it as a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy's ability to recover. A few at the time even tried to receive the statement into a signal on interest rate hikes. Since February and March 2009, it has been used increasingly in the media to refer to positive economic data and statistics during the late-2000s (decade) recession[5]. Green shoots falls in that class of statements that economists and politicians roll out when they need people to believe the worst is over. Other favorites include the "glimmers of hope" (Obama used the same to describe the state of the economy). The oft-used too is "we are on solid footing". Whether these statements are backed by solid economic data or not, they do have the power to take over the media narrative and shape public opinion[6].


  1. Seyfang G. (2009), s. 10
  2. Victory J. (2015), s. 64-65
  3. Camacho M., Perez-Quiros G., Poncela P. (2010), s. 9
  4. Victory J. (2015), s. 54-58
  5. Seyfang G. (2009), s. 3-4
  6. Camacho M., Perez-Quiros G., Poncela P. (2010), s.25-27


Author: Filip Piszczek