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Andrew  Sissons

Manufacturing decline worrying but too early to call a double-dip recession

Authors: Andrew Sissons Andrew Sissons

25 January 2012

Commenting on today’s GDP figures, Andrew Sissons, Researcher at The Work Foundation, said:

“This fall in GDP is disappointing, and it shows that the global economic slowdown is starting to bite in the UK. We know that the economy suffered very badly in October, which caused a surge in unemployment, but strong retail spending in the run up to Christmas clearly prevented the contraction from being much worse. With Christmas out of the way, there is a real danger that we will see far worse job figures over the coming months.

“The most worrying aspect is the decline in our production industries, probably driven by a slowdown in many of Britain’s key export markets. The service sector, which is holding up the economy at present, could be vulnerable to falling spending by consumers and government in the UK. Without a recovery in exports and manufacturing it is hard to see how the economy can escape its trajectory of low growth in the short term.

“This figure leaves us in unknown territory. While it is too early to call a double-dip recession, there is a serious risk of an economic slump in 2012. The government must focus on restoring confidence to business and boosting exports in the year ahead; this must start with a coherent and substantial growth plan in the Chancellor’s Budget in March.”


Notes to editors

1. Andrew Sissons (Researcher), Ian Brinkley (Director) & Charles Levy (Senior Economist) are available for interviews, briefings and written comment.
2. The Work Foundation aims to be the leading independent, international authority on work and its future, influencing policy and practice for the benefit of society. The Work Foundation is part of  Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.

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