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Spring is not sprung despite bounce in Chancellor's step

An apt metaphor? Daffodils on display amidst ruins in York Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

The sun is shining in London, the sky is blue and GDP rose by an unexpectedly warm 0.3% in the first three months of this year.

Yes, things must feel pretty good for the Chancellor this morning as he makes his way to a series of interviews on the economy (I'm in a bunker in East London waiting for him as I write this).

Mr Osborne has avoided a triple dip recession and the ghastly confidence-sapping headlines, written by journalists like me, that would have ensued. I'll write more about his views once I've spoken to him.

But the tick upwards today - better than expected though it is - masks the overall picture that the economy has stagnated for the past year and a half.

It remains 2.6% smaller than it was five whole years ago when the financial crisis began.

Nothing the Chancellor has done appears to have changed that. Spring is not yet definitively sprung.

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