Image: Surrey County Council Image: Surrey County Council

Prime Minister Theresa May has chaired the first meeting of a new cabinet committee designed to achieve her goal of creating an economy "that works for everyone".

The new Economy and Industrial Strategy Committee will focus on the long-standing issue of productivity, encouraging innovation and identifying industries and technologies which could give the UK an advantage in the global economy.

In order to make the most of the "opportunities" created by leaving the European Union, Ms May said "we need to have our whole economy firing". But despite the economy on making the best possible outcome of Brexit, the committee does not include Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis. And there have been a few raised eyebrows at the exclusion of the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish secretaries.

Speaking in Downing Street before the meeting of 11 members of the cabinet, the Prime Minister reiterated her calls for an "economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few".

She said: "That is why we need a proper industrial strategy that focuses on improving productivity, rewarding hardworking people with higher wages and creating more opportunities for young people so that, whatever their background, they go as far as their talents will take them.

"We also need a plan to drive growth up and down the country - from rural areas to our great cities."

But everything points to the new committee having its work cut out. Various economic surveys are showing contraction in multiple industries, and many economists expect the UK to fall into recession by the end of the year, or early 2017. There are positives, however, the UK economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter - despite expectations of a slowdown in the run-up to the EU referendum. Although those figures don't give any outlook to the current quarter, they could lead be faster-than-expected growth in the third quarter.