In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Little Britain in Recession

Posted by alfied on September 3, 2008

Even the Sun Newspaper, which can be fairly described as a jingoistic rag for the hard of thinking, is starting to whimper. Although nowhere near conveying what lies in store to their loyal readership, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for Britain’s biggest selling daily to deny reality.

However this is probably about as far as the their Media will go. Declaring that Britain is in terminal decline, financially, intellectually and morally bankrupt, is not something they are likely to do anytime soon.

BRITAIN will be the only one of the world’s seven richest nations to slide into recession this year, experts warned last night.

The grim prediction was made by the respected Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The Paris-based think-tank partly blames the slowdown in the housing market for the UK becoming the sick man of the G7 group of the world’s most powerful countries.

The forecast came as the pound hit lows against the euro and dollar.

Analysts blamed sterling’s crash on Chancellor Alistair Darling’s weekend declaration that we face the worst economic crisis for 60 years.

The OECD said our economy will shrink 0.3 per cent in the third quarter of this year and by 0.4 per cent in the final quarter.

Two quarters of negative growth mean Britain will officially be in recession.

In contrast, the US will see growth of 0.9 and 0.7 per cent, while in Japan the figures will be 2.4 and 1.4 per cent. Britain will also be outperformed by the three other European G7 countries.

France will see growth of 0.2 and 0.6 per cent, while Germany will see figures of 0 and 0.1 per cent. Italy, meanwhile, will see growth of 0 and 0.6 per cent.

Mr Darling said yesterday Britain was well placed to cope with the downturn.

He said: “I am optimistic we will get through it because the fundamentals — high levels of employment, historically low interest rates and historically low inflation — will stand us in good stead.”

But Tories said tensions between Mr Darling and Gordon Brown were preventing the Government from tackling economic problems.

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: “The depressing thing is that when Britain needs a strong and united leadership, we have a weak, dysfunctional government.”

Jorgen Elmeskov, the OECD’s acting chief economist, said: “It is very difficult for the Bank of England to react to a situation where slack will be increasing rapidly.”

Last night accountants Grant Thornton warned ministers had no money left to revive the economy.

Senior tax manager Maurice Fitzpatrick said: “It is likely that the Treasury will be accused at some stage of operating a scorched earth policy to the public finances.”

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