GDP figures to reveal UK economy recession status

Gross domestic product (GDP) figures will show the value of all the goods and services produced in the economy in the first three months of 2012 reports the BBC.

If the economy turns out to have contracted, it will mean the UK has returned to recession.

But it may turn out that the economy grew in the first quarter, meaning it has continued the trend of switching between growth and contraction.

Either way, there is unlikely to be very much growth or contraction, with many economists predicting slight growth of 0.1%.

However, David Miles from the Bank of England’s interest rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee said in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday that “it wouldn’t be a great surprise if the GDP number was a small negative number”.

But he added: “It’s perfectly possible to think that the underlying growth position of the economy is stronger than the headline GDP numbers. In fact, I think that’s probably true.”

Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Capital Economics, told the BBC that while small growth or contraction should not make too much of a difference in economic terms, politically and psychologically it could.

“A surprise on the downside or the upside could impact on consumer confidence and give an additional boost or drag on the economy,” he said.