Economic growth has returned to centre stage and - for the moment at least - seems detached from politics.

Rarely is there such a clear focus on action for growth, even if it means some risk-taking. Can Britain achieve "the highest sustained growth rate in the G7", as the new Chancellor hopes?

That would involve radical change to the foundations of what has been a slow growth economy. Inevitably there will be impact on Scotland and some of the solutions may be oriented to unique problems in England.

Moving on from debate about the remedies, what is now needed is a calm analysis of Britain’s current economic position. The London stock market is giving some signals – investors, here and abroad, seem more confident.

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On a trade-weighted basis, the pound has risen to its highest level in almost eight years. This year, the pound has made good progress against the euro in particular as concern grows on political developments in France and elsewhere in Europe. Britain’s currency has yet to fully recover from previous shocks such as the Brexit vote and the 2008 financial crisis, but the recent pattern is a clear sign that international investors are returning.

In terms of borrowing costs - seen as a critical constraint on the new UK government - there may be some room for manoeuvre.

Servicing costs on Britain’s debt have improved recently as inflation has fallen. This seems surprising but the Bank of England has brought a high proportion of index-linked government debt into the borrowing mix. UK public sector debt relative to the economy is high in historical terms but most others in the G7 are worse.

And future government borrowing will be helped by the recent pattern of more stable trading prices for existing government bonds. After a turbulent two years, UK gilts are moving much in line with other markets.

Britain’s aging population will bring future financial challenges, but it is important to see our debt position in the context of other nations. In terms of gross domestic product, the UK economy is the world’s sixth largest, and second in Europe.

The first opportunity to boost the economy might be driven by consumers. Despite widening of income and wealth differences and an increase in child poverty, overall UK household finances have improved in recent years with increased savings.

This can be seen as consumer caution, with uncertainty in jobs and living costs causing spending restraint. Releasing some of these additional deposits into spending would lift business and the economy.

The Bank of England could encourage this if it cuts interest rates later this year, although service sector inflation and wage growth remain high. Already, growth forecasts for this year are edging upwards.

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Scotland’s finance industry could be helped by regulatory reforms and addressing the problems of the London stock exchange. Scotland has an important stock market investment sector and would gain if the flow of money out of UK shares could be reversed.

With many smaller and medium-sized British companies under threat of takeover because of low valuations, there is also a strategic risk in a weak stock market that needs attention. Over the last year action has been promised but little delivered – reform now would be part of showing international investors that the UK values its financial services.

Even with the scope for more short-term borrowing, the challenge will be to find initiatives that can boost growth without reliance on the public purse.

Improving flexibility and the pace of change is what economists call "supply side reform". Tackling planning legislation and its impact on new homes and clean energy infrastructure is often cited as something that could attract investment and boost activity. This could involve a presumption in favour of developments involving wind, solar, transmission and storage.

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The Chancellor has already announced plans to lift England’s effective ban on new onshore wind development, bringing policy into line with Scotland. This could open up more competition for the capital investment needed.

Not all clean energy investments pay for themselves but simplifying planning might reduce costs for investors and make more projects viable. Scotland’s planning system for new homes and public infrastructure differs from England and the Westminster government will need to explain what each supply side change does north of the border. It will need to do similar for any policies aiming to boost growth by empowering local authorities.

The big economic challenges for the UK need not involve public investment and borrowing but are political: trade and productivity.

UK productivity is a perennial problem, often seen as about public services, but it is clear that Britain’s businesses are also struggling with their efficiency in the world of remote working. Public services provision should be viewed as a systems issue of structure, technology and investment.

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There is no easy fix for either the public or private sectors, but Britain’s sluggish productivity growth has persisted for over 15 years, lagging far behind the US and Germany.  Building infrastructure and skills will help but what would transform is innovation and dynamism, accelerating the pace of economic change. The tone of the new government and its leadership style may inspire a step change in how the economy performs.

Last in the growth mix is the most political of economic policies - trade.

A closer relationship with the EU is likely to be part of this. A vision of a global Britain sits less easily in a world where nationalism is rising in the US, China and Russia, and trade must be seen in the context of economic resilience and shorter supply chains.

With polarisation on the topic of Brexit, EU trade may not be top of the agenda for the UK, but it is hard to see a transformation in growth with current trade frictions.

Political debate will focus on sustainability and inclusion, but few would disagree with the aim of sustained economic growth as the route to improving prosperity and living standards. Post election there is scope for bold action.

Colin McLean is a director at SVM Asset Management