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back to article Official: Britain staggers into double-dip recession doom

Britain has slipped back into recession, preliminary figures released by the Office of National Statistics showed this morning. The UK economy shrank by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2012. That's the second consecutive GDP nosedive, which technically means fears of the country falling into a double-dip recession have now …

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Silver badge
Pint

It was obvious

It was glaringly obvious we were never out of trouble since 2008, but the financial guys are all too ready to say we're technically not in recession when the figures show a vague trend.

Of course we're in trouble, and anyone can tell you things have been getting steadily worse, rising prices, no rise in salaries, cut backs in services and so on.

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Mushroom

Re: It was obvious

Could be worse... we could be Greece or Spain who are almost about to explode.

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Re: It was obvious

Pretty much this.

You can call it whatever you've been calling it for the past four years but the economy doesn't need a special label for everyone to know it's fucked.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It was obvious

But we are not! So?

We were never in that position, dispite what you care to believe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It was obvious

yes but the media has this habit of creating self fulfilling prophecies.

In fact you can argue that it is our own fault that it isn't improving, but one thing, cutting back on public spending wouldn't effect NET GDP unless we borrow more money to pay for it or increase taxes further

Spending is down, costs are high, its a catch 22, what you cant have is a government spending money to get out of it, because they don't have any of their own money, it only adds to debt or comes from us both are bad for the country.

We personally could spend more money to help the situation but that's made harder because costs are high. Usually recovery is a slow process and increases as confidence increases

The media however can change public opinions in a heart beat, if people go around saying its not getting better then it wont, If the media jump up and down about a anything without consideration it can make things a lot worse. We should all be optimistic and we should always try convince the city of this optimism, to do otherwise would be stupid

Im all up for freedom of speech and all that but more and more recently im finding myself questioning the practices of media outlets to suite them selves and to hell with anything else.

But that's another debate!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It was obvious

Where's a Mr.G.Fawkes or associate when you need him.

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WTF?

Re: It was obvious

I fail to understand how an economy that is behaving plus or minus 1% from the previous year is "fucked". This is all down to ridiculous expectations of a 5%+ growth a year every year, which is clearly a pipe dream unless you're so far behind to begin with that even a tiny absolute increase is a huge percentage increase (see Brazil, India, China...)

The reality is that the economy in the last 20 years in western nations has been artificially inflated by using cheap labour in other countries and built on debt that wasn't backed up by real value. -0.5% overall is nothing, you want to see a really fucked economy, look at Spain or Greece, not to mention Egypt.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where's a Mr.G.Fawkes or associate when you need him.

How would blowing up the current monarch and restoring a Catholic to the throne help exactly?

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Re: Where's a Mr.G.Fawkes or associate when you need him.

I don't think it would help as such, but you have to admit it would be kinda awesome...

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Thumb Up

Re: Dazzza

One of the more intelligent post I have ever read on these forums. Freedom of speech is an important human right but it is also a responsibility that is all to often abused by the media at large.

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@ Dazzza (Re: It was obvious)

As Dazzza says, the media do have a habit of creating self-fulfilling prophesies. I'm in no doubt that people wouldn't have been queuing down the road to buy petrol if the media hadn't been screaming "DON'T PANIC! DON'T PANIC! Petrol is running low because people are starting to queue"

I couldn't help but detect a note of glee in the BBC "breaking news" report today that we are (finally) officially in 'Double Dip Recession' so they could start peddling their doom and gloom again.

Having said that, whilst I agree with you that we want some optimism from the media, there is a fine line between optimism and propaganda.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dazzza

One of the more intelligent post I have ever read on these forums. Freedom of speech is an important human right but it is also a responsibility that is all to often abused by the media at large.

I think much of the problem is that today's rolling 24 hour news broadcasters need to fill their airtime with something. An opportunity for a bit doom mongering is always welcome.

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Alert

Re: It was obvious

If they do, then we are definitely in the shit....

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Facepalm

Re: Where's a Mr.G.Fawkes or associate when you need him.

> How would blowing up the current monarch and restoring a Catholic to the throne help exactly?

We've had Blair already, I would say, "never again" but I'm not sure I can see a difference.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dazzza

Indeed. Let's be more optimistic, since the Olympics are coming to town.

Put our heads down, stop commenting on the reg and get working people.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dazzza

Re: Dazzza

Indeed. Let's be more optimistic, since the Olympics are coming to town.

Put our heads down, stop commenting on the reg and get working people.

-------

Don't talk to me about the olympics - I live in the south west and I couldn't give 2 hoots about it. Why am I paying taxes to fund this shite? What do I get back in return. Fuck the big society, I can't afford to take care of my wife and 3 kids. Why the fuck should I pay to `host` a sport activity that will have 0 return for myself. Along with that, why the fuck are the government giving away £9BN of my money to other countries.

Share that £9BN between every adult in the UK and it will be a wholly better off place

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Anonymous Coward

I'm sure the BBC will be gleefully pedalling their stories of woe, therefore completing the circle

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Joke

That would be a unicyle then?

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Anonymous Coward

The circle is only completed when they mention prostitution and blame the whole problem on hackers.

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Coat

it could be worse

We could be in a drought with flood warnings........

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Re: it could be worse

Only in Britain could something as improbable as this happen.

One is reminded of Quantitive Easing for some reason. Not sure why.

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Holmes

Droughts and Flood Warnings

You have the "lying down in front of bulldozers" brigade to thank for this bizarre combination of events.

We were offered new reservoirs, but the NIMBY contingent chose hosepipe bans instead.

(It will backfire on them in the end, of course. Homes with a 24/7/52 water supply will end up being worth more than homes near to "unsightly" reservoirs.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it could be worse

Seen the Australian weather?

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Anonymous Coward

I have two jobs, both companies are not only actually making profits, but are generally growing and doing well. Yet they are cutting staff and costs as if they were in trouble, cutting wages where they can (and freezing pay where they can't).

I'm not an expert, I know there are many factors to this, but when companies are making a profit and are sitting on the money, and as far as I can see, using recession as an excuse to brutally cut costs and profit in the short term, what do we expect?

Unemployed people (and people with frozen wages) don't have much spare cash, therefore don't spend much, therefore these businesses are collectively starving their source of income in favour of grabbing short term profits. It's not sustainable and it needs to stop.

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Given the choice, I'd rather have unsustainable cutbacks, than unsustainable growth...

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FAIL

no money

Well of course there's no profit, because nobody has anything to spend. You have a large portion of those who'd be the biggest spenders (18-25) out of work. And those of us who are in work are getting destroyed by rising prices for bills, rent and other normal living cost.

For my area most people can only really get retail or engineering based jobs. Thats anywhere from 12k-20k per year. This is for the average person mind you there are of course higher level managers.

That would mean anywhere from - 800 - 1.3k per month. The average rent for a single room apartment in my area is £400, by the time you add gas an electric as well as food you're left with anywhere from 0 - 500 in spending money.

All rough guesses here mind you But they wonder why the economy is bombing when a good portion of the population can barely afford the basics they need to survive. Either wages need to go up, gas / electric / rent needs to come down, or some combination of the two.

Of course with the gas and electric companies reporting record high profits, they clearly don't have the money to drop how much electricity and gas cost. And with these companies suffering so badly they cannot afford to up our wages. And we need a house, so landlords have us by the nutsacks, they aren't going to lower their prices.

*sighs*

I'm just glad I don't drive, otherwise I'd have no money at all.

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Mushroom

Re: no money

Gas and electric prices are coming down, but only on the home countries of the companies that own our gas and electric. We're paying for the consumer discounts in France and Spain. Why would a Spanish company give a shit about UK customers?

Energy goes up by 50% in the last 4 years, food is up by about 20%, benefits are a up by about 15% and wages are up by 0% if you're lucky.

And still the gov wonders why businesses are failing and no one is spending any money. Or pretends to wonder while it stuffs it's pockets with expenses, gold plated pensions and pay offs ,hands out money to fund the Indian space program, Subsidy farms (wind farms) and the bloody EU.

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Re: no money

> Why would a Spanish company give a shit about UK customers

Why would they give a shit about Spanish customers?

There aren't any British or Spanish companies anymore - there are companies listed on a British or Spanish exchange whose shares are owned by global pension funds.

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Stop

Well, this was inevitable

There comes a point where further economic growth is impossible, because there is nowhere for the economy to grow to. No matter what you are selling, there is bound to come a point where everybody who is ever going to have one has already got one; and from then on, all you can do is replace them as they go wrong.

The future is zero growth, and we have to get used to that.

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Re: Well, this was inevitable

Nay.

The problem with Britain is that it is a democracy (stop laughing at the back) which means politicians are scared of making 'right decisions'. That is letting the economy collaspe properly so that all the dead wood is cleared out of the system. So you can rebuild sooner.

The problem with this reset is that is loses HUGE numbers of votes.

Japan has been papering over the cracks for about 20 years now because they are afraid to press the reset button.

Of course there are big loses in a reset. But if you do not reset everybody loses!

Right now boomers and the public sector are torching the youth to keep their 'wealth' unearned or not. Because they vote the government is scared of them. So they keep crushing the younger workers in a ponzi scheme. Eventually the younger folks say sack this and down tools.

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Thumb Up

Re: Well, this was inevitable

A bit over-simplified, but close enough to the truth. Stuff like fridges, TVs, cars, clothes etc used to last 10-20 years, then 5, then 3 and so on just to keep the never-ending cycle of selling stuff to people who already have a lot of stuff.

There's a limit to how crap things can be made so they fall apart just after the guarantee has expired, and most people have enough appliances, cars, clothes etc. There's also a huge mountain of old-ish but still quite serviceable stuff that people may have put away in storage but that they're now selling 2nd-hand to make ends meet while others look to buy in the 2nd-hand market because it's more affordable.

All things considered -0.5% isn't really all that bad overall, but behind that overall figure are companies who are doing very well thank you and sitting on their cash while many people are out of work or are being squeezed out of affording anything more than the basics

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Right now boomers and the public sector are torching the youth

True.

My Mother said "My generartion has bankrupted this country for your generation"

True.

She got upset when I pointed out that her generation had also fucked it for their grandchildren.

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Trollface

Re: Right now boomers and the public sector are torching the youth

You got that last bit wrong: There won't be any grandchildren because your generation can't afford them due to your mother's. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well, this was inevitable

"Right now boomers and the public sector are torching the youth to keep their 'wealth' unearned or not."

And we'll keep right on torching you until you bunch of hoodie-wearing feckless losers unplug your earbuds or climb off facetube long enough to vote.

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Anonymous Coward

@Graeme Sutherland

Not quite.

I've already provided her with one grandson, thats all the Mrs and I can afford.

Enough to start the guilt trip.

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Anonymous Coward

Why the surprise?

Ten years of spend == ten years of brokeness

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Scaremongering

You failed to mention this is a prediction based on 42% of final data with a 1% uncertainty.

This seems to have become thet latest hobby.

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Anonymous Coward

Well done to the Tories! Round of applause!

Oh and that goes to the Tory voting Brits too. Well done!

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Silver badge

And you think the situation would have been better under Labour?

At the end of the day, everyone I know predicted that we would have shitty times for years after the last recession. This would have been the same no matter which govt was in power. Their economic policies were so similar (although they shouted differences, they were nearly identical when you looked at the figures) that they would have made virtually no difference.

What we actually need is for companies to start hiring. This would start an upward spiral as more people had more to spend. As things stand (and with media, politicians and my next-door-neighbour-and-his-dog scare-mongerring) things will be slow going because so many have no money to spend.

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Thumb Up

What we actually need is for companies to start hiring. This would start an upward spiral as more people had more to spend. As things stand (and with media, politicians and my next-door-neighbour-and-his-dog scare-mongerring) things will be slow going because so many have no money to spend.

THIS

The problem is, the money in people's pockets/demand problem. Is currently covered with a somebody else's problem field. Therefore companies trim jobs hoping to be cutting other peoples throats but not realising they are cutting their own throats.

Roger Ford's Lights in the tunnel (freebie ebook) has some extrapolated future outcomes of all of this. It isn't pleasant reading either.

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Facepalm

Re: And you think the situation would have been better under Labour?

Under Labour Greece would appear responsibly managed.

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What a load of balls

We never came out of recession in the first place.

But with 325bn of Zimbabwe style money printing...I mean QE

An engineered petrol painic

AND the Olympics construction

AND finally a whole load of fiddling

they STILL only fiddled it to a negative,

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Anonymous Coward

The IT Industry is going....

the same way as the Industrial and Mining Industries......

on the other hand the Security and Military Arms Industries are making a roaring profit and expanding.

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Silver badge

And capitalism falls like all the others

What the governments are failing to admit is that capitalism has reached it's limits. "Eternal Growth", Only an utter fool could believe that such a system has any future.

As one of the other commentards mentioned, we have reached a point where we have to sustain ourselves on "No growth". We have to think deeply and honestly and look for solutions where an equitable society can be maintained on a realistic business model. Wealth has to be distributed in a different manner. The banks can't be trusted, shareholders have become far too greedy, politicians should be held accountable for their actions.

Society needs to change, our current political models are flawed, it's time that the current politicians stepped down and allowed for rational thinkers to step up and take control.

Communism doesn't work, Capitalism doesn't either, why can't we find some kind of happy medium between the two ?

The wealthy have become too wealthy,the industrialists too powerfull, the politicians too scared to take the lead. The standard solution is "war" but I refuse to be part of someone else's fuck ups.

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Re: And capitalism falls like all the others

Pointing at things and saying they're broken is not a high-value skill.

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Stop

Not True

Capitalism flourishes in all the countries who haven't allowed their financial and political classes to Fuck With The Public's Savings.

Britain allowed London (and some Edinburgh) finance to destroy an enormous amount of wealth, Greece, Spain and Italy did excessive "social" spending and book-cooking all on borrowed money.

Other countries such as Germany, South Korea and the BRIC countries do very well with their ways of capitalism. What happened in London was not capitalism - it was THEFT BY BANKERS. They stole the property of capitalists who stored their money with these banks, they stole from the general public. So BANKER-THIEFERISM has failed, not proper captialism.

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Silver badge

Re: And capitalism falls like all the others @J.A.B

The first steps in resolving problems are to understand that they exist ( point them out), define what they "really" are and then start to begin the process of finding a solutions.

If no one speaks about what really is going on then no solution can ever be found. it's not about having any kind of "high-value skill" its about bringing things out into the open.

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Re: Not True

Are they really flourishing ?

Do a quick google on the yearly percentage of increase of these countries debts, in relation to their GDP, and you will quickly realise how their systems will eventually fail as well.

Do not become disillusioned by the temporary growths of these countries, they are not sustainable..

The bankers all over are pushing us for more debt, one day those debts will have to be paid.

Where do you believe the money will come from to make the payback ? Capitilism is not a magic purse .

Debts will have to be paid in one way or the other .....

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Re: Not True

They didn't steal it, they never had it in the first place. They credited borrowers with money they did not have. The horrific reality is that every one hundred pounds lent was backed by only a few deposited. Fractional reserve banking. In our world it is known as fraud.

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