ABSTRACT

Post-war growth in historical perspective Without a shadow of doubt, the two decades of the 1950s and 1960s were, from an economic point of view, by far the best in the whole of the twentieth century. Not only in Europe, but also globally, economic growth was by historical standards exceptionally strong. Even in Africa, many countries experienced robust growth at the end of the colonial period. These were in truth the boom years or golden era of the century. What was so remarkable was not only the high rates of growth recorded but also that there were few serious interruptions to economic activity of the type so characteristic of the inter-war years. In fact. depressions of the traditional type were conspicuous by their absence, the worst being a slowing down of the rate of growth. Nor were there any serious nancial and monetary crises similar to those in the inter-war years and those after the end of the golden years of expansion.