British economy at risk of sliding towards renewed recession?
"Production data is likely to be weak, particularly manufacturing. Services is a bit of an unknown and construction should be okay," said Amit Kara, an economist at bank UBS, who is pencilling in a 0.2 percent drop in fourth-quarter GDP.
The fourth quarter will inevitably look weak by comparison with the third, when the economy was boosted by the London Olympics. Similar one-off factors, such as this month's snow and freezing temperatures, could easily shrink the economy in the first three months of this year too, confirming recession.
That could leave the ruling Conservatives and Liberal Democrats fearing a hammering in elections in 2015.
One potential voter, 37-year-old Mahmoud Usmani who runs a stall selling leather bags at a market in London, said his standard of living had dropped in the past year.
"It's a situation which I don't feel that we are going to come out of quickly unless we actually start investing in real things, rather than the banks," he said.
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