Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics show that GDP fell by 0.8% during quarter two – which shows a slowdown in the pace of contraction from the fall of 2.4% for quarter one. This data broadly reflects the same picture that was painted by the NECC Business Barometer for quarter two – one of businesses reporting difficult trading conditions, but not as difficult as in recent months.
Some analysts had hoped for the contraction to be smaller, and some had hoped that there might be some growth during quarter two. The debates over when the recovery will begin, and to what extent this is a slow down in the pace of the recovery or simply a false dawn, will undoubtedly continue.
I’ve noticed that there seems to be a largely negative take on these figures amongst many sections of the media. However, I think that the figures could have been much worse. They could have been better also, but I would suggest that it is the second half of 2009 that could prove to be really telling.