1. ITV Report

Recession hits, but worse to come for North East in cuts

The Prime Minister attends PMQs as the UK enters a recession Photo: PA

The North East is bracing itself for a tough year after the UK fell back into recession.

The economy contracted by 0.2% in the first three months of this year, which follows up a 0.3% contraction at the end of 2011. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

But the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says that the country has only felt 28% of the cuts so far, with the vast majority still to come by 2016/7.

The Institute for Public Policy Research said that it expects there to be a 9% rise in unemployment in the North East this year, leading to another 11,000 jobs being lost.

Despite this, a Gateshead-based printer, Gate7, said the double-dip recession was not unexpected and did not necessarily mean that the private sector was facing such a hard time.

Managing Director Kate Wickham said: "UK economic growth has been very flat for a long time, so it's not something that has come as a surprise.

"I think everybody has been preparing for this double dip, but it's not as spectacular as it was back in 2008/9. Certainly the negative figures are not as bad."

She went on to say that their order books were good, and that it was "business as usual" for the private sector.