FEARS of a triple-dip recession will mount this week as figures are expected to confirm the economy slumped into the red at the end of last year.
Economists are forecasting gross domestic product (GDP) to have edged 0.1% lower in the final quarter of 2012, and there are concerns that a snow-hit start to 2013 will see the UK head back into recession.
Friday’s figures from the Office for National Statistics follow a run of grim economic indicators, with re- tail, services and construction sectors all suffering in 2012’s final quarter.
A decline in the last three months would be a sharp reversal of the 0.9% recovery in the Olympics-fuelled third quarter. And there are few hopes for the start of this year, with fears that snow will compound already difficult conditions.
The Ernst & Young ITEM club will today say that growth will be anaemic at best this year, forecasting 0.9% in 2013 before gaining momentum in 2014 and 2015 – when GDP is expected to grow by 1.9% and 2.5% respectively.