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Is the UK recession already over?

The Office for National Statistics is this week set to issue a revised figure regarding the performance of the UK economy in the third quarter of 2009. The initial figure showed a 0.4% drop in gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter which was much worse than many analysts had expected. However, it would appear that stronger data from the construction industry could well see this figure revised this week from -0.4% to a fall of just 0.1%.

If this figure is revised to a fall of just 0.1% then many analysts will be more than confident about their forecasts of a positive move by the UK economy in the fourth quarter of 2009. This would signal the end of the UK recession and would be a perfect scenario for the UK government in light of the oncoming general election. However, the fact that so many figures have been revised over the last few months begs the question as to whether we can actually believe these revised figures ahead of the initial figures?

There is concern that not only is the Office for National Statistics attempting to get these figures out into the market place as soon as possible, possibly too early, but they are now becoming less reliable than ever before. As a consequence, there is every chance that data in the future could well be discounted until we see a definitive trend and all supporting economic data is "singing from the same hymn sheet".

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