UK back in recession

David Cameron says there will be "no change" in the way his government is handling Britain's economy after the country slipped back into recession. Figures show an estimated 0.2% quarterly decline in GDP.

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'Dismal' economy result of the coalition

The economy has ground to a halt. Growth is negligible. As a result the rate at which Government borrowing is being reduced has also slowed down. The deficit in March this year was higher than in March a year ago. No-one can doubt that these dismal results are the consequence of the coalition policy on austerity.

– Lord Eatwell, Labour Treasury spokesman

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Psychological effects of recession

Britain is back in recession and the real coalface of the downturn are job centres like the one in Swansea, where ITV News spoke to 25 year-old Kelly Whittle, a graduate who lost her job at Nursery earlier this year.

She sums up the psychological effect the word 'recession' has on those already struggling to make ends up. Asked about today's GDP figures, she said it is "bleak and I don't know where my next job is going to come from". She says she isn't too proud to take cleaning work but is not getting anywhere.

PM: GDP figures are very, very disappointing

These are very, very disappointing figures. I don't seek to excuse them, I don't seek to try and explain them away.

Let me be absolutely clear: there is no complacency at all in this Government in dealing with what is a very tough situation that, frankly, has just got tougher.

I believe the truth is this: it is very difficult recovering from the deepest recession in living memory accompanied, as it was, by a debt crisis.

– David Cameron

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Prime Minister: Government will stick to economic plan

The Labour leader Ed Miliband is challenging the Prime Minister over his economic policy at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.

David Cameron denied that the coalition has been "complacent" and said that low growth is due to wider conditions in the world economy:

There is no complacency at all in this government...Our banks had too much debt, Our households had too much debt, Our Government had too much debt...We sill stick with our plans, stick with the low interest rates...and do everything we can to boost jobs.

CBI: Manufacturing growth, but future remains uncertain

The UK manufacturing sector is showing signs of bouncing back from the fragile conditions seen at the end of 2011 and start of 2012, according to the CBI.

CBI: Manufacturing grows, but future remains uncertain

Ian McCafferty, CBI Chief Economic Adviser, said:

“With the acute fears over Europe and global demand subsiding somewhat since the start of 2012, sentiment about the general business situation has risen among manufacturers for the first time in a year.

“Nevertheless, given Europe is still our biggest export market, the outlook for UK manufacturing will remain uncertain until the Eurozone crisis is resolved.”

'Despite recession there should be no slowing of deficit reduction'

Graeme Leach, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, has agreed with George Osborne.

The Chancellor has said that there should be no slow down in the deficit reduction, despite the latest GDP figures:

Although the fall in GDP in the first quarter was relatively small, the impact on the economy will be much greater because of the knock to consumer and business confidence.

Confidence has already take a battering from the euro crisis and today’s news means companies are less likely to boost investment and recruitment this year.

But even though we are back in recession, the IoD does not believe we should slow down on deficit reduction.

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