The indications are that the growth forecast for 2011 will be downgraded consumer confidence fallen, manufacturing has hit a two-year low, the service sector has contracted, retail sales are struggling and the trade deficit is getting wider. We see wages stagnant, higher food and energy prices, cuts to tax credits along with reduced working hours all squeezing living standards for those in work, never mind those made unemployed.
The Office for Budget Responsibility needs a growth figure of 1.7% for 2011. More likely George Osborne will be looking at figures of around 0.7%. This would mean that the Osborne had been over optimistic and that his growth forecasts have been constantly higher than the reality. Although technically Britain may not be in a ‘‘double dip recession’’ it would be in its third consecutive quarter of recession.