Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

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Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:48 pm

Household and government spending failed to prop up UK economy in Q4
Office for National Statistics confirms earlier estimate that the UK economy shrank by 0.2% in the last three months of 2011


Simon Bowers and Phillip Inman
guardian.co.uk, Friday 24 February 2012 17.11 GMT

Paul Fisher, a member of the Bank of England monetary policy committee, has warned that the economic outlook remains very uncertain.

A pre-Christmas shopping spree and an unexpected rise in government spending came to the economy's rescue in the last three months of 2011, but it was not enough to prevent the wider British economy from contracting.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed its estimate today, indicating that the UK economy shrank by 0.2%, despite a 0.5% rise in household spending and a 4% annual rise in consumption by the government.

Several economists cheered the figures, which they said could prevent a double dip recession. But Paul Fisher, a Bank of England policymaker, said the outlook for the British economy was still very uncertain and he was keeping an open-minded as to whether more quantitative easing would be required.

Fisher said a steeply rising oil price was a potential hindrance to growth this year. He said a rise in the price of oil, which has risen 11% over the last month, could spur inflation again and derail the recovery.

Brent crude, which reached record highs this week in sterling and euros, jumped another $1 to $124.74 after the United Nation's nuclear watchdog said Iran has sharply stepped up work on uranium enrichment, raising traders' fears of an attack against Opec's second largest producer.

Ed Balls, shadow chancellor, said the ONS data revealed an underlying weakness in the government's recovery plans after the big fall in business investment.

He said: "The case for a change of course and a real plan for jobs and growth in next month's budget is growing by the day."

The ONS added to concerns that the economy remains weak by nudging down the previous estimate for third-quarter growth, from 0.6% to 0.5%. As a result, overall growth during 2011 looked a shade more anaemic at 0.8%, down from previous estimates of 0.9%.

Should the economy not return to growth in this quarter, Britain would again be in an official recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction). Recent economic data – in the services sector, as well as manufacturing and retail sales – suggest the economy is showing signs of a rebound. The quarter-on-quarter rise in household spending during the fourth quarter marked the first increase in 18 months, though the figure was down 0.6% compared with the same period a year earlier. Government spending rose by 1% and exports jumped by 2.3% on the quarter.

The overall fall in GDP was largely driven by the biggest drop in business investment for a year, while the production sector, which includes manufacturing, declined 1.4% compared with previous estimates of 1.2%. The annual figure for consumer spending was also lacklustre, leaving the government to pick up the slack.

Alan Clarke, an economist at Scotia Capital, was upbeat about the prospects for the beginning of 2012, citing a bounceback in consumer spending as positive news. He said the government spending figures would encourage people to ask "austerity, what austerity?"

But Ross Walker, an RBS economist, called the 0.2% contraction "a pretty poor number". He said: "The main positive is that improvements in survey data that look increasingly broad-based have not been captured, and we will get a bounce back in the first quarter [of 2012] … I don't think it will be a spectacular first quarter but I think we will squeeze some growth out of it.

"Since George Osborne's spending review the economy has grown by just 0.2% compared to the 3% the government predicted. And far from the eurozone crisis being to blame, only rising exports kept us out of recession last year. In the US, where the government has taken a more balanced and steady approach to deficit reduction, their economy has more than recovered all the output lost in the global recession, while in Britain we are still almost 4% below our pre-crisis peak."

When the worse-than-expected fourth-quarter figures were first published in January, David Cameron admitted they were disappointing but insisted there was "not an ounce of complacency" as the government sought to get Britain back on track.

Facing mounting pressure to temper spending cuts to restore growth, the chancellor, George Osborne, stuck to his guns, saying: "I think we've got the right plan; we've got to stick to it."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/feb/24/uk-gdp-economic-growth-2011

By the end of the year they will have decimated the economy, we will have well over 3 million unemployed and if we don't have rioting I shall be very surprised.

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:58 pm

We are heading into Greek territory now it seems.

Germany seem to have done well despite the worldwide recession.

Just as well as it seems that they have to bail everybody else out now.

ha bloody ha eh?

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:16 am

You mean ha ha that Germany is having to help, maybe.

I'm more concerned that we have a government that does not recognise that its policies are making things worse and like America, we not only need cuts, we need growth and the two have got to be balanced. Making millions unemployed and putting nothing in its place is decimating us.

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:51 am

More than one person has said the Germans are achieving by monetary means what they couldn't by military.

Don't know about Greek territory it seems a bit Roman with Call me Dave fiddling while we burn.

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:43 pm

Nems Again wrote:More than one person has said the Germans are achieving by monetary means what they couldn't by military.

Don't know about Greek territory it seems a bit Roman with Call me Dave fiddling while we burn.

A lot of this really can be laid directly at the door of your average Brit. Why even here on this forum it's nigh on impossible to discuss climate change and alternative energy without the entire thread being overtaken with posters denying the reality of the situation.

Many Brits view the whole subject as some huge conspiracy and if anyone dares to suggest peak oil!!

Meanwhile the Germans have been voting Green policies in their droves, and after halting nuclear are committed to alternative energy. I can't remember if it's this site where I posted the details of Germany's new solar ambitions in Morroco etc but it probably wasn't as there isn't anybody here remotely interested in future resources so here goes....Germans have recognised that much of Europe is beholden to Russia for its energy/fuel and China for it's products. They have bucked this trend and it is their extremely successful manufacturing process which has staved off the worst of the recession for them. When it comes to future energy they are fully behind a revolutionary solar system which uses heated water turbines as opposed to pv cells and it's a mammoth endeavour, costimh millions of euros. It's in collaboration with other countries of course but the UK is not involved in any way whatsoever. Once the project is completed then Germany will be assured of energy which is both green and cheap in the future.

Incidentally whilst the SE is finally waking up to the drought predicted by many Scotland has surged ahead with their plans for tidal power. Once they are independent and become more Scandinavian in their outlook it's fairly obvious that far from being the broken little nation many predict they will be very self-sufficent.

No amount of stories about economic shrinkage, lack of jobs, bankers bonuses ever seems to ring any bells with your average Britain.

The current system is a busted flush and really a new way of thinking is needed.

Finally are you aware that German cars are now overtaking Japanese ones in efficiency as that becomes more important. Germany is not taking over or anything like that, I see them as merely securing their own future, something that with the complete loss of any sense of national identity here in Britain we as an nation are unable to do.

We can keep blaming the coalition but really the British have done this entirely to themselves. I've had many debates on these UK based boards about what it means to be British, and hold my hands up to the eilzel's of the world who have consistently argued that we indeed have no f^^king culture and are just some sad old relic that once had an empire.

Before the last election I predicted that food prises would rise beyond the grasp of many in poor countries, observing the small food price riots already taking place in Egypt etc, due to big commodities brokers dealing globally and Russia putting bans on exports whenever it wants.

I predicted that all this fast immigration would come back and bite us in the arse, and it sure has. I observed the British Chamber of Commerce routinely denigrating Britih youngsters, calling them stupid, lazy and workshy, and now we have record numbers of them unemployed whilst businesses employ cheap foreigners. I did say that we couldn't advertise our country to the world out of some misplaced guilt over our imperial past, that it was not the fault of British people that their ancestors had an empire. Nobody has yet to acknowledge this but at least the racism insults have stopped.

My new predictions are working people getting to the point when it's really obvious to everyone, and I mean everyone, that they are worse off than your average long-term large family on benefits. No matter how much this may seem unfair but many predicted that once Mr white van man finally stopped watching football long enough to notice that he actually can't feed his kids that Britain would finally wake up. That day inches forward slowly.

This years drought will raise food prices again, the upcoming increase in fuel duty will send many businesses and familes finally to the wall.

I know that here I am viewed as a bit autistic but I too have always viewed the world as a global place but not in the pink, fluffy, we all should just get along swimmingly that the likes of pantagruel would have argued.

The rise of Russia and China, the increasing burden on the worlds resources, the unchecked world population, the rise of the huge corporations that own much of the planet, all these things are intrinsically linked. If you look honestly at how the world is developing maybe its time to try and see how the British people fit into this, rather than this endless obsession that the English in particular have in thinking the world revolves around them.

It's common here for Brits to blame their government for everything. We've had democracy for so long it's understandable. But we have to move away and begin to take responsibility for our own situation.

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:54 pm

Great post for the most part Seren, though when did I ever say we had no culture?

I have repeatedly asked Far-Right nationalist thickos or those of their 'patriotic' views, to tell me what British culture is under threat as they always tell us.

Of course we have culture, I could list my interpretation of it and it is mostly great, only the Serens of this world fail to understand the difference between asking a question and claiming something we are not Rolling Eyes

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:12 pm

eilzel wrote:Great post for the most part Seren, though when did I ever say we had no culture?

I have repeatedly asked Far-Right nationalist thickos or those of their 'patriotic' views, to tell me what British culture is under threat as they always tell us.

Of course we have culture, I could list my interpretation of it and it is mostly great, only the Serens of this world fail to understand the difference between asking a question and claiming something we are not Rolling Eyes

Yes but as you have quite rightly pointed out over the years, most of our culture is stolen from other cultures anyway. I've listed lots of culture for you over the years - from Shakespeare, to Milton, to summer fetes but it's never really made any serious dent has it.

I apologise for my thickness again, as someone who has routinely pointed out that we do have a long and proud history as a United Kingdom with a rich culture it's been a point of enormous sadness to see the dismantling of this nation looming up ahead but loom it does.

I haven't failed to understand that you were asking a question of Brits who were questioning importing en-masses other cultures at the perceived demise of our own. The actual demise now appears to be the actual UK itself.

I've always seen the UK as a provider of great big ideas, of entrepeneurs, of inventors, of self-made individuals who strive for success, of academic prowess but routinely we see envy politics trying to reduce everyone to one common level.

I'm not smug about the demise of the UK. As a contributor from a small country, I regularly brush up against Scots and Welsh when it comes to political debate and the reality seems that all these new ideas - alternative energy etc - are finding common ground amongst the Celtic nations but there is zero resonance in England, which actually seems to be on a route to self-destruction.

Maybe I am being thick but seriously what are England's plan for the future, say just food or energy? It's not a question about culture but say what's going to happen this year when the drought in East Anglia raises food prices.

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:46 pm

Seren wrote:

Yes but as you have quite rightly pointed out over the years, most of our culture is stolen from other cultures anyway. I've listed lots of culture for you over the years - from Shakespeare, to Milton, to summer fetes but it's never really made any serious dent has it.

I apologise for my thickness again, as someone who has routinely pointed out that we do have a long and proud history as a United Kingdom with a rich culture it's been a point of enormous sadness to see the dismantling of this nation looming up ahead but loom it does.

I haven't failed to understand that you were asking a question of Brits who were questioning importing en-masses other cultures at the perceived demise of our own. The actual demise now appears to be the actual UK itself.

I've always seen the UK as a provider of great big ideas, of entrepeneurs, of inventors, of self-made individuals who strive for success, of academic prowess but routinely we see envy politics trying to reduce everyone to one common level.

I'm not smug about the demise of the UK. As a contributor from a small country, I regularly brush up against Scots and Welsh when it comes to political debate and the reality seems that all these new ideas - alternative energy etc - are finding common ground amongst the Celtic nations but there is zero resonance in England, which actually seems to be on a route to self-destruction.

Maybe I am being thick but seriously what are England's plan for the future, say just food or energy? It's not a question about culture but say what's going to happen this year when the drought in East Anglia raises food prices.

Seren, I don't mean to sound condescending here; but honestly I don't think all those of Celtic nations are for going all out for new energy sources, anymore than all people in England are against them. Sorry if I've misunderstood you there but I don't go in for simplistic assumptions of everyone in a country.

Interestingly, though I have never seen you list those things when asking for culture of England (probably got sidetracked by MrD tbh...). Though since you did, how ARE Shakespeare, Milton and Fetes under threat??????

Our culture is far from being dismantled Seren. Our greatest stories are being brought to TV screens more than ever before. Theatre (one of our finest cultural traditions) is as popular as it ever was. Our celebration of monarchy shows how our history still resonates and is loved by the vast majority of people. Again our culture is still very much alive and well. So again where is the damage?

I do agree it would be sad for the UK to be broken apart. But since I see a convincing rejection of Scottish independance coming up I don't see it as a realistic prospect.

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:06 pm

Before we get sidetracked about culture, can you answer the question about future resources at all.

I know you weren't being condescending, I think you missed the point how as a nation Germans are embracing new technologies whilst generally Brits are not. I know we have our first Green mp but generally the uptake of ideas is still small.

Can I just say that you are totally wrong about the Celtic nations not embracing alternative energies.

Celtic nations are for going all out for new energy sources, anymore than all people in England are against them. Sorry if I've misunderstood you there but I don't go in for simplistic assumptions of everyone in a country.

Yep you are absolutely wrong here sorry. The Scots are ramping up their tidal power and gearing up for a big fight with Whitehall over it too.

Barely a day goes by without alternative energies being on the front pages on our media. Farmers have no truck in putting up wind farms and you can't move for solar panels up here. You cannot presume to speak for Wales and Scotland and our plans for the future.

Many of our unis concentrate on environmental/agricultural/geoscientific sciences/wildlife conservation and these subjects are important to our main trades.

You forget we get zero investment from Whitehall for manufacturing and economic growth but unlike the NE we are not sinking into the mire, in some form of managed decline like say Hull. Our Welsh Assembly has already made great strides after partial devolution and we are like Scotland are pressing for more and more independence. When was the last time you got an email update from the Welsh Assembly? Many of my colleagues and fellow students do. Our future depends upon tourism, good quality university students, water and solar resources, and farming. We actively encourage small businesses and once we in North Wales get superfast broadband, our already burdgeoning craft industry will take off even more.

We are already taking measures regarding the lamb virus but of course as its affected the South Coast of England first, I imagine you know all about the current threat to next years lambing seasom.


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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:12 pm

Ok Seren, I am not going to debate resources with you, that wasn't why I entered this thread, I was simply making clear my point which you had misrepresented by bringing me up earlier.

I am not going on with this though, for your complete lack of understanding what I said. I did not say 'Celtic nations' I said ALL THOSE OF Celtic nations. I was addressing your ridiculous blanket assumptions you are becoming renowned for. I'm sure there are some in Wales who would champion nuclear over tidal as there are people in England the reverse. So I am not wrong at all, you just fail to understand and are brilliant at quoting out of context.

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:20 pm

eilzel wrote:Ok Seren, I am not going to debate resources with you, that wasn't why I entered this thread, I was simply making clear my point which you had misrepresented by bringing me up earlier.

I am not going on with this though, for your complete lack of understanding what I said. I did not say 'Celtic nations' I said ALL THOSE OF Celtic nations. I was addressing your ridiculous blanket assumptions you are becoming renowned for. I'm sure there are some in Wales who would champion nuclear over tidal as there are people in England the reverse. So I am not wrong at all, you just fail to understand and are brilliant at quoting out of context.

Sorry if I came across as making blanket assumptions. Of course not every singly bloody welshman and scottishman is of the exact same thought process. What I am saying is that the national mood is perhaps swinging that way. Of course there are going to some in Wales who favour nuclear but maybe my initial comments about the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament fell on infertile ground eh?

Our elected bodies like the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament - I'll say it again E L E C T E D - they are all for renewable energies and alternatives to the busted system that we have had. You know the ones, privatising energy companies and then selling them out to investment baks. I know how you hate to talk about actual resources but seriously you cannot debate hot politics like fuel poverty or food poverty without discussing them sorry. I could quote you many examples of what.....

The Welsh Assembly and The Scottish Parliament (remember not just MY blanket assumptions)

are doing regarding climate change and future energy resources but I don't want to bore you sorry.

Whereas the Coalition (voted in by the English) are very much backward in this area. Now as the elected reps of England I'm seeing no outcry over this so THERE I'm presuming that your average English man has zero interest or is behind his elected representatives in pressing on with business as usual. Now here I am presuming as I have no idea where England is heading.

A pre-Christmas shopping spree and an unexpected rise in government spending came to the economy's rescue in the last three months of 2011, but it was not enough to prevent the wider British economy from contracting.

See I see this but do not understand. How is spending money addressing the future? What's the plan? Where's the wealth generation coming from? Is it more banking/manufacturing? Whats the blueprint for your country after full devolution?

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Re: Figures confirm UK Economy Shrank in Final Quarter of 2011

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:56 pm

Going back to Germany, it's a German company which has just bought out the Bristol company who are building the tidal power generator in Anglesey, North Wales.

If you remember this project was began with a million pound funding grant from the EU so now that this company has been sold to Siemens I suppose the money is just finding it's way back to Germany. Although we too fund the EU.

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