The Office for National Statistics has just confirmed that GDP in the second quarter of this year fell by a rather chunky 0.7%. Much more than the predicted 0.2% drop that many had thought.
What is worry, is the construction sector took another battering. In the three months to June, construction fell 5.2% compared to the first quarter of this year. What has annoyed me though, more than anything, is the excuses the Government has given for the poor performance. They have said that the poor weather and extra Bank Holiday due to the Jubilee celebrations has caused this deeper than expected contraction.WHAT?!So because we had an extra day off for a National celebration and because we had a lot of rain that is why we are in this mess?! That either says our economy is about as anemic as a sickly 4 year old, or our Chancellor doesn’t have a clue what he is doing and so blames everything and everyone else around him! I know which option I am going for!
This third quarter of recession and the 0.7% contractions means this is the deepest double-dip recession for over 50 years now. Despite the best efforts of George Osbourne trying to blame it on the weather, the Jubilee, the Euro crisis and everything else, I’m afraid this is a recession born out of Government. Their painful cuts to all areas of public spending, wage freezes and wage reductions, job cuts, high inflation (though it has come down now) and tax cuts for the rich is what is causing this country it’s massive economic headache. Of course, when we get to October and we learn the fate of this quarter, which will probably be another contraction, George Osbourne will be quick to blame the Olympics and then kids going back to school…and the cloudy weather. And the colour of the tarmac. And how we pay our cleaners in cash.
If this is the Government’s Plan A, it really isn’t working at all. Whatever Plan B is (hopefully it will be a plan for growth and spending) it needs to be implemented because I’m pretty sure that the country won’t put up with recession until the next General Election!