GDP figures for the last quarter have fallen 0.7% — massively outstripping predictions of a contraction of 0.2%. The figures mean the double-dip is officially the worst since World War II, having lasted three months longer than the last such contraction in the 1970s.
Doubtless George Osborne will now be dusting off his trusty book of weak excuses — or dispatching hapless Danny Alexander — and blaming the dismal numbers on some combination of the Royal Family and poor weather.
With Osborne previously having blamed snow for the sluggish economy, a subsequent contraction in Q4 of 2011 was put down to the warm weather. Responsibility for the contraction in the subsequent quarter, which officially put Britain into recession, was laid with the Eurozone.
After figures for Q1 of 2012 were announced, the Chancellor took to the airwaves to say that:
“We’ve got to … make sure we don’t make a difficult situation even worse.”
Mission accomplished, George.