As I am sure most readers within the UK are aware, the Office of National Statistic (ONS) recently announced that the economy has seen growth of 0.1%. This growth comes during the longest and deepest recession of all the leading western economies since records began back in 1955. Some members of parliament – such as Alistair Darling – believe that this short period of tiny economic growth shows the UK’s emergence from this long-lasting recession. There is no doubt that any growth, regardless of size, places the economy in a far better state of affairs considering the damage done in recent years. However, can it be said that 0.1% is really be a figure to get excited about? And if not excited, then allowing for relief from money worries?
Well, not really. The struggle is still very real, and very much in existence. Gordon Brown’s announcement that the UK’s period of recession is over could be considered highly premature. It will take a very long time for the economy to recover – although everyone realises that this is the case. The primary cause for concern is the scarily real possibility of a ‘double-dip’ recession. Whilst this generally relies on a new peak in the economy before crashing again, any growth can spark a new and sudden dip back into economic trouble.
Yet disregarding the possibilities of either a full economic recovery or a double-dip recession, most businesses (and individuals) will not likely feel the benefits of any growth for some time to come. This small level of general up-turn in the UK economy has been fueled by large PLC’s improving revenue figures through government schemes and other such repair attempts. These PLC’s tend to be centred around the production and manufacturing industries, such as car plants and heavy machinery manufacturers. For the ripple effect of any growth to reach other markets, such as the dedicated server industry and other high-technology industries, is definitely going to take its time.
Although from a technical standpoint the statistics do show growth, which if read without consideration of context can be shown to end the recession, the fact remains that times are still tough. Unless any major new revelations come to light in the near future, it is safe to assume recovery will take far longer than many politicians would like to have the public believe.