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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recession Over?

Official statistics, as had been widely predicted, now show that Britain finally left recession in Q4 2009.

The last major economy to do so.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released figures today that show that GDP grew by 0.1% in the last three months of 2009.

However, there are a number of caveats:

1 The figures are only preliminary, and could be revised up or down. Given that the ONS has a record of inaccuracy, not too much should be read into the figures.

2 0.1% is not exactly "stellar performance", and indeed the UK is the last major economy to move out of recession.

3 People in the UK will not notice any change to their lives (whether they are unemployed or well off) from this alleged 0.1% growth.

This is most certainly not the time for celebration, or trying to take credit (as the government is doing). The UK is heavily in debt, and the effects of the recession (higher taxes and high levels of unemployment) will be felt for many years to come.

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