Treasury: UK faces a 'very difficult economic situation'

A statement from the Treasury said that the contraction in the economy in the fourth quarter of 2012 was expected:

It confirms what we already knew - that Britain, like many European countries, still faces a very difficult economic situation.

It underlines what the Chancellor said at the Autumn Statement and the Governor of the Bank of England said this week: while the economy is healing, it is a difficult road.

While today's data confirms the scale of the challenge facing the British economy, this week has also seen the strongest yearly increase in jobs for over 20 years. A million new private sector jobs have been created and the deficit is down by a quarter.

– Treasury statement