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Is this really the worst recession for 100 years?

When children's secretary Ed Balls decided to comment upon the UK economy many were primed for a disastrous public relations stunt. While Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have been firm in their belief that the UK is not moving into a depression, Ed Balls seemed to suggest that comparisons with the 1930s US downturn were valid. This now brings into question Gordon Brown's recent "slip of the tongue" when he suggested the UK was entering a depression rather than a recession. Do the government know more than they are letting on?

Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are said to be furious that a minister has veered away from the official Treasury line and effectively contradicted the "rose tinted glasses" forecasts released only a few weeks ago. A suggestion that the UK could even move towards a depression is not going to help the currency, economy or the confidence of the UK consumer. This suggestion by Ed Balls could turn out to precipitate a serious crash in the UK currency and consumer confidence.

Over the next few days we will see the government try to rescue what is turning into a dire situation, as slowly but surely the signs are that the UK economy is still in a serious decline with no sign yet as to when this may end.

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