The global economic crisis has certainly wrought huge destruction. Not too long ago the Governor of the Bank of England warned that the crisis is not even half over.
But what about the creation side of Schumpeter's formula? Here are four areas of the UK economy which are seeing growth.
1. Consumers are spending on technology. Household spending and incomes have declined over the last five years but UK consumer spending on communications has risen by almost 18%. Global sales of smart phones have risen from 118 million in 2007 to 488 million last year, helping raise Apple's share price five-fold.
2. UK car production is on an upward path, rising 34% between 2009 and 2011. Inward investment and the devaluation of sterling in 2007-08 have helped boost exports. Last month, the UK recorded its first quarterly trade surplus in cars and vehicle parts since 1976.
3. The UK private sector has created 892,000 jobs since the beginning of 2010, far more than the 453,000 jobs lost in the public sector. One of the fastest growing areas of employment is skilled services such as design, consultancy, law and accountancy. Employment here has risen by almost 6% in the last two years, to just short of 2.5 million people or 8% of the workforce. The number of people working in IT and communications has risen by almost 7% in the last 2 years.
4. The financial crisis has led to a wave of innovation in the sector. Peer-to-peer lending which connects borrowers and savers over the internet has boomed. In the UK platforms such as Zopa, Funding Circle and Crowd Cube are attracting consumers with the promise of attractive savings and borrowing rates. Worldwide, there are over 450 crowdfunding websites today, up from under 100 in 2007 and the amount of money raised through these 'platforms' has almost tripled since 2009. In the UK, companies such as Tesco, John Lewis, Hotel Chocolat and Leon have tapped their customers for funding directly through bond issues.
The big picture for the UK, as for many other European economies, is of a weak recovery from the 2008-09 downturn followed by a return to recession in late 2011. The gathering euro crisis has added new risks and uncertainties. Yet at a sectoral and company level growth is taking place, driven by new opportunities, technology, long secular trends and stress in the wider economy. In Schumpeterian terms, creation does, indeed, coincide with destruction.