National output declined by 0.3% in the final three months of 2012 bringing into focus the real possibility of the first ever triple dip recession for the British economy. Growth has been weakening for some time; consumers are under pressure, capital investment remains subdued and our export industries are being hit by low demand in key export markets - despite a competitive exchange rate. Overall real GDP showed no growth at all in 2012 and the level of national production of goods and services remains well below the height reached just before the recession first arrived in 2008.
The OECD estimates that the trend growth rate for the UK economy is now less than 2% per year. A new normal growth rate this low poses many questions for businesses that have perhaps been waiting for a stronger rebound in confidence and spending to happen.