Friday, 30 December 2011

Recession: Did it Ever Go Away?

The BBC trumpets that recession is to return to Europe, but in all honesty with a growth figure in tiny fractions of one percent did we ever leave recession? After all the positive growth figures bandied about over the past two years are so low that negative growth (i.e. recession) is not that far away.

Of course its politically expedient to err on the high side and tip the figures just ever so slightly positive, which for the statisticians technically keeps us out of recession.

But has any of us felt or will feel in future the benefit of growth measured in fractions of a percent? Not really.

For the pedants out there I know that growth went slightly over 1% in Q2 of 2010, but that was the only time since Q1 2008 it climbed that high. In fact in Q4 of the same year growth went negative, but luckily it bounced back to a wondrous 0.4 percent the next quarter, thus avoiding the technical definition of a recession.

And boy aren't those of us in retail feeling every rise and dip... In fact the ONS growth figures match virtually quarter for quarter the retail trading conditions we've seen over the past couple of years.

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