James Moore: A happy new year? Third helping of recession is starting to look more likely
Outlook Remember when everyone was twitching about a double dip recession? Those seem like halcyon days now that there's a new phrase creeping its way into the popular lexicon: The triple dip.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics confirmed that the economy did indeed grow 1 per cent in the third quarter of this year, its best performance for a long time.
But the figure is a mirage. Growth between July and September was greatly boosted by one-off events such as the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics. In their absence, a fall back to more realistic levels by the end of the current quarter was inevitable.
However, that fall may be steeper than we realise. Already there are disturbing signs that activity is slowing by more than can be accounted for by a post-Olympic drop-off.
The floods across the large parts of the country combined with widespread uncertainty and wafer-thin confidence mean the festive season will be a subdued one. If the economy isn't contracting now, it might not be too long before it is.
To qualify as a recession – our triple dip – there would need to be two consecutive quarters of negative growth. That may not happen but it is a realistic possibility.
Mark Carney was always going to find himself in a hot seat following his appointment as Governor of the Bank of England on Monday. He is about to find out just how hot.
There are things the government could do to help the situation. As if we needed any more gloom, the OECD yesterday warned that Britain's public finances will be in pretty poor shape throughout next year.
But, crucially, it again stated that Britain might want to consider easing up on its ambitious targets to cut the budget deficit at least until the economy is healthier.
That would be the pragmatic option, and the sensible one. It's true we might get downgraded by Moody's or Standard & Poor's but, really, who cares? It is a long time since those organisations had any clout with the bond markets which dictate our borrowing costs.
Sadly, sense is a commodity that is in short supply in Westminster. Against the backdrop laid bare by the OECD, the Government is contemplating yet more spending cuts which increasingly seem driven by ideology as opposed to sound economics.
All that and the potential of internecine warfare with our nearest trading partners to protect the Conservative Party's rightward flank from a surging UK Independence Party. Best wait until 2014 before saying "happy new year".
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Kelsey Grammer forgives the man who raped and murdered his sister in 1975
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...