The Chancellor George Osborne will know today whether the UK has headed into a double dip recession when he enters the cabinet meeting this morning. The rest of the UK and indeed the world will have to wait until 9:30 am on Wednesday to find out.
Figures for the first quarter will be announced on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figures provide a snapshot of the state of the country’s economy. During the previous quarter saw the GDP (gross domestic product) contract by 0.3 percent. A second successive quarter of negative growth will mean that the country has slipped back into recession and will be a major setback for the country’s financial recovery, as well as a major headache for the government.
If the country does slip into a double dip recession it will be for the first time in 37 years. Many are predicting that the UK will escape the double dip by a whisker. UK households will be affected if the figures are negative by seeing jobs threatened and a higher cost of living.
Peter Dixon, strategist with Commerzbank, said: ‘If we do escape a double-dip recession it will be by the skin of our teeth. Trade and industrial production have not been encouraging. ‘I am forecasting growth of 0.2 per cent but there is really big uncertainty around that figure.’