UK economy on recessionary knife-edge
Published: 24th Apr 2012 16:07:23
Figures released on Wednesday will show whether the UK economy is in recession.
Gross domestic product (GDP) figures will show the value of all the goods and services produced in the economy in the first three months of 2012.
If the economy turns out to have contracted, it will mean the UK has returned to recession.
But it may turn out that the economy grew in the first quarter, meaning it has continued the trend of switching from growth to contraction.
A recession is generally considered to be two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
Either way, there is unlikely to be very much growth or contraction, with many economists predicting slight growth of 0.1%.
Wednesday's figure is only the preliminary estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), based on only about 40% of the information that will be used to reach later figures.
That means that if the first estimate shows growth, it could be revised in the next few months to show contraction or vice versa.
The preliminary estimate of GDP for the last three months of 2011 showed a contraction of 0.2%, which was later revised to a contraction of 0.3%.
The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is currently predicting slight growth for the first quarter.
On the other hand, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is predicting a small contraction.
The Bank of England's interest rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee warned at its last meeting of the possibility of a recession, which would continue into the second quarter of the year.
Bank of England governor Mervyn King had previously warned of a zig-zag economy, because he was expecting growth in the first quarter but then a contraction in the second quarter, when the extra bank holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is expected to reduce output.
For the first quarter, retail appears to have performed relatively well, with retail sales recording their biggest monthly rise in more than a year in March, driven by the spell of warm weather and panic buying of petrol.
On the other hand, there is concern about the construction sector, which grew by less than expected in February.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. UK economy on recessionary knife-edge. [Online] (Updated 24 Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1424309-UK-economy-on-recessionary-knife-edge [Accessed 22nd May 2013]
At 07:48:08 in ScotlandA man is in a serious condition in hospital after being rescued by firefighters from a river bank....
At 07:45:17 in WalesComplaints about abandoned horses and ponies quadrupled in some parts of Wales last year....
At 07:40:36 in BusinessEnergy supplier SSE has reported a rise in annual profits despite disruption from bad weather and a fine from regulators....
At 07:20:42 in ScotlandScotland's first charity-funded air ambulance helicopter has gone operational....
At 07:20:25 in Northern IrelandA 26-year old man has been arrested over the death of a homeless man at an apartment complex in Cork last week....
At 07:20:20 in EnglandA building that has stood empty for almost five years after being bought as a new headquarters for Hampshire Constabulary is to be sold....
At 07:20:15 in WalesThe first minister is to signal further cuts to Welsh public spending, warning of "painful" decisions ahead....
At 07:05:39 in Northern IrelandJust 10% of Lower Lough Erne will be affected by restrictions put in place during the G8 summit, an audience in County Fermanagh has been to...
At 06:57:42 in WorldPakistani politician Imran Khan has been discharged from hospital two weeks after falling from a platform at an election campaign rally. ...
At 06:56:17 in WalesThe defence case in the trial of the man accused of murdering five-year-old April Jones is expected to begin later....
News In Other Categories
Seven members of the Egyptian security forces abducted in the Sinai peninsula have been freed, officials say....
Pakistani politician Imran Khan has been discharged from hospital two weeks after falling from a platform at an election campaign rally. ...
A 26-year old man has been arrested over the death of a homeless man at an apartment complex in Cork last week....
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol ba...
Complaints about abandoned horses and ponies quadrupled in some parts of Wales last year....
It would be curious to know whether Microsoft made a conscious decision to make its Xbox One launch as unlike Sony's PlayStation 4 pres...