The UK is back in recession

This cheery note is from the Office for National Statistics (our emphasis):

GDP contracted by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, the second successive period of negative economic growth. The fall in real GDP was driven primarily by weakness in the construction sector, where output is estimated to have fallen by 3 per cent between the two latestquarters. But the dominant services sector of the economy grew only slowly while industrial production fell slightly.

The economy has shown no growth over the past year and has recovered less than half the outputlost during the recession in 2008 and 2009…

Growth over the past eighteen months has been uneven, with four of the last six quarters showing negative growth. The stuttering nature of growth following the recession means that the economy is weaker relative to its pre-recession peak than at the corresponding stage of the depression in the early 1930s. It is also well below where it would have been if it had followed the path of either of the recessions in the early 1980s and early 1990s.

And there is an even less cheery chart:

But hey, at least the weather is good… but just in case you aren’t sufficiently depressed about the state of things in the UK, here’s an economist (Chris Williamson of Markit, emphasis his):

The UK has sunk back into a recession, if the official first estimate of economic growth in the first quarter is to be believed. However, the underlying strength of the economy is probably much more robust than these data suggest. The danger is that these gloomy data deliver a fatal blow to the fragile revival of consumer and business confidence seen so far this year, harming the recovery and even sending the country back into a real recession.

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