What next for Britain With 2011 drawing to a close and a year of feeble recovery for the economy experts are queuing up to warn that the UK may see a return to recession in early 2012.
Two well regarded bodies have issued worrying recent forecasts: The Organisation of Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) and the National Institute of Economic Social Research (NIESR). This is all of great concern to the Treasury. The Coalition's plans for the future hang on being able to cut debt [how big if Britain's debt problem?] with a where can i purchase pandora charms mixture of austerity cuts AND economic growth. A return to recession would derail its plans. Britain's 'Great Recession' started in the spring of 2008 and ended in the summer of 2009. This is based on the technical measure of recession' two 'quarters' of the year, back to back where the size of the economy shrinks, as measured by GDP (Gross Domestic Product). It was thought the British economy shrank a total of 6.3% but a change in official measurement in October 2011 suggested the decline was in fact 7.1%. [Read the full ONS report] The economy then raced out of recession faster than expected (see the charts above and below) but faltered again late in 2010, with the heavy snow of December blamed for much of it, and slowed to a snail's pace in the first half of 2011. The big question now is whether debt woes in the eurozone will derail the global economy and damage Britain's chances of continuing growth. The Treasury's latest poll of economists suggests growth of 1.1% for 2011, down from a projection of 2% at the start of the year. For the record, the Centre for Economic Business Research (CEBR) was the most realistically downbeat at the time with a forecast of 1.1% [See all the forecasts and see the tables below] The Government's tax rises VAT was hiked in January and income tax went up for the richer gold pandora bracelet price middle classes in April have been made by austerity cuts are still kicking in. The final negative factor and possibly the biggest is that consumers, companies and the state are all price of pandora charm bracelet locked in a race to straighten out their finances. That means each of these will spend less and pay down debts, a toxic combination for the economy in the short term, although necessary for long term health. The gloomy outlook was enough to persuade the Bank of England to start printing money again in October 2011. Its previous 'quantitative easing' programme saw 200bn 'created' for this purpose in 2009 and 2010. It's now deploying a further 75billion, aimed at getting banks to increase lending. However, despite all the turmoil over the summer, the first official estimate of GDP (1 November) put growth at 0.5% for the third quarter (July to September). It's still pretty weak but was better than expected. The major concern, stalking in the background, is 'stagflation'. This  is where growth stalls but inflation remains dangerously high. The outcome can be disastrous: not only is real wealth eroded but it may mean hiking interest rates to control inflation, with the nasty side effect of higher borrowing costs further damaging economic growth. Also: How UK interest rates predictions have shifted How this recovery compares with those of the past The recovery in the economy follows the longest recession since British records began, with a 7.1% fall in output [More on how this recession compares with previous ones]. The full year of 2009 saw the economy shrink 5% the biggest calendar year fall since 1921 [Why 1921 was such a bad year]. This chart from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (October 2011) shows how the economy's progress since the start of the recession has only been marginally better than the three years after the Great Depression of the 1930s (which was actually far milder in the UK than in the US). The NIESR now suggests the recovery from recession will be slower than the Great Depression (6 September). The UK had one of the worst budget deficit's in the EU in the last fiscal year, at more than 10% of GDP. It was second only to Ireland ( 32.4%) and Greece ( 10.5%). Basically that means the British pandora bracelet charms price government spent more than it earned to the tune of 146bn, according to the OBR. While that overspend is being reduced, the UK's debts continue to grow. Britain owed 967bn in October, up from 837bn a year earlier, according to the ONS [read the full release]. It is likely to hit 1 trillion in 2012 13, given that economists forecast a need to borrow more than 120bn in the 2011/12 financial year. That total debt figure, as the chart shows, already equates to 62.3 per cent of GDP (the total size of all economic output), up from 56.5% a year earlier. It's favourable compared to, say, Italy or Greece where it is more than 100% or Japan at 200%. So no problem? Alas not.
Because we're borrowing more than most other countries, we'll soon be climbing the total debt league tables and testing the nerve of investors. Any signs that we might struggle to repay then international markets would charge much higher rates of interest to lend, making it even harder to pay down debts. The Coalition's plans to tackle debts have so far been well received.
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