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Arctic conditions damage UK economic recovery

By Sean O'Grady

Published 21/12/2010

Evelyn McCullough - Arctic conditions in Portstewart
Evelyn McCullough - Arctic conditions in Portstewart
David and Molly Fenning Lisburn
Feldore McHugh, Belfast Botanic Gardens
Chrissie Carson - Dundrod... Winter scene
Chrissie Carson - Dundrod ... Little Bird
Chloe age 11 from Donaghadee...Alfie and Tacey the snow people
Brian Portadown Sunset at Bann Meadows
Brian Portadown Sunset at Bann Meadows
Bill Corr, Belfast
Avril Hughes, Lisburn ...photographs of the snow on the river Lagan towpath at Lambeg
Avril Hughes, Lisburn ...photographs of the snow on the river Lagan towpath at Lambeg 4
Avril Hughes, Lisburn ...photographs of the snow on the river Lagan towpath at Lambeg 3
Avril Hughes, Lisburn ...photographs of the snow on the river Lagan towpath at Lambeg 2
Arlene Barton, Aghagallon...school's out for winter
Adam Krauza Belfast Castle
Gerry, Sloan ... The Big Fish at Donegall Quay. Belfast
Gavin McVeigh Mallusk
Gavin from Mallusk ... Grays Lane Mallusk
Gary, Castlereagh. Merry Chrstmas
Gary, Castlereagh, icicles
G Morrow's icicles
Feldore McHugh, Belfast's Botanic Gardens
Evelyn McCullough - Portstewart Narnia
David Rainey, Belfast ...The tallest snowman in Belfast
David McFarland of Dollingstown... Lurgan Castle
David Fenning Lisburn Leisureplex
Scott Campbell Greenisland ...My bro spent his 22nd birthday building this 8ft snowman!
Roy Mallusk Snow fields
Roy Mallusk Snow field
Pauline Wilson ... Snowing at dusk in Coleraine
Pauline Wilson ... snowy bridge, Coleraine
Pauline Wilson .. Coleraine
Patricia Mackey, Newtownards ...Movilla Cemetery
Emma, Keira and Jamie Goldring. Helen's Bay...igloo
Martin Vinall Bangor Abbey
Kieran Monaghan, Glengormley A lone shopper braves the journey home
Kevin McConnell, Crumlin ... the snowman we built in our street
Ian Graham Belfast ... squirrel taking shelter & stocking up on nuts
Terry Irvine Ballyclare... Sixmile sunset
Steph & Katie
Stacey Dougan, Richhill, Co. Armagh ...View from top of Maynooth Road Richhill
Tele readers' winter pics
Hazardous conditions on the roads as freezing temperatures and snow continues across Northern Ireland
The worst wintry weather in decades has swept across Ireland and Northern Ireland
Families enjoying the heavy snowfall in the grounds of Stormont in Belfast
Belfast City Airport: Travel plans were thrown into chaos because of the bad weather.
Christmas shoppers battle through a heavy snow storm in Belfast city centre
Christmas shoppers battle through a heavy snow storm in Belfast
Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 16/12/2010Mandatory Credit - Picture by Justin KernoghanChristmas shoppers battle through a heavy snow storm in Belfast city centre this evening.Northern Ireland is braced for another spell of severe wintry weather, with heavy snow forecast to fall right across the country on Friday.The Met Office has issued a weather warning which will be in force from noon today.More heavy snow showers are expected over the weekend.Northern Ireland has seen some of the most severe December weather for many years with more than 700 schools forced to close because of snow.
Christmas shoppers battle through a heavy snow storm in Belfast city centre
Rod Mulholland. Tobermore church of Ireland. Dec 2010
Ballymena town centre on Thursday afternoon as snow returned to Northern Ireland
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore. Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Robert Telford .... Rays Wood, Antrim. Dec 2010
Rod Mulholland .... Tobermore church of Ireland.
Jo, Dromore Ghostly abode!
Looking through my windscreen at the ice. By Mark Johnston, Bangor. Dec 2010
Snowboarding in the Mournes. By Shagster. Dec 2010
David McKendrick's snowy Movanagher lock. Dec 2010
The Marquis of Downshire Memorial, Hillsborough by Graham Construction
Frank, from Limavady. Benone looking towards Donegal. Dec 2010
David Montgomery, Killyleagh Co. Down. Delamont Country Park at Sunset. Dec 2010
sterling newtownabbeyCaption: frosty afternoonYour email: roy36@hotmail.co.uk
Frosty afternoon by Roy. Dec 2010
Newtownabbey frosted web Roy. Dec 2010
Having fun when their school is closed, Matthew and Owen Irvine, Maghaberry. Dec 2010
Gavin Miskelly, Darragh Cross, Mourne Mountains, Co. Down
Alison Lynas... Wacky Races at Burntollet Bridge
Santa arrives in Derry early by Gary Nash. Dec 2010
My son Martin and snowman. By Jackie in Crumlin
Donemana by Isobel Brown. Dec 2010
Emma Carson, Garrison, County Fermanagh .... Max the dog is ready for a snowball fight
Paul in Belfast ....The Silent Courtyard, Farnham Estate, Cavan. Dec 2010
Paul in Belfast ... Frozen Steps, Farnham Estate, Cavan
Paul in Belfast ... The White Garden, Farnham Estate, Cavan. Dec 2010
Frosty afternoon Templepatrick. By Roy. Dec 2010
Brian, Portadown: River Bann 7/12/10
Knockagh monument...by Ttim, Carrickfergus
Carole, Banbridge .... Home from school!
Garden Carwood Ave. Our Stephanie by Mervyn Ellis
Killygullen Lisnaskea. Taken by Eleanor Kerr
Brian McCalden, Glengormley ... Horses Glebe Road
Brian McCalden... Horses Glebe Road Glengormely
Tim, Carrickfergus ... Portrush harbour
Niall McCaughan. Cannons on the Derry Walls
Chess on the Lawn, Farnham Estate, Cavan by Paul in Belfast
Julie-Anne and Noel enjoying our Tenth Wedding anniversary at the Sleive Donard
Co Tyrone.... lovin it. Submitted by Ann. Dec 2010
Tropical palm in Portrush. By Jean Elliott
Coolnasillagh, Co. Derry. By Joe O'Kane
Paula Cuesta from Segovia assists with Winter Graduation arrangements at Queen's. Picture by Barbara Groves
The Cave Hill by Bill Corr
On the hill...by Bill Corr, Belfast
Hello Snow!...by Jean Elliott, Portrush
Fog over Belfast...by Bill Corr
Belfast Castle. Picture by Bill Corr
The Mourne Mountains, by Yvonne
Dawn on the wing, Belfast International Airport...by Steven Braiden
A red deer stag crosses the road as it comes down from the hills to the River Clunie near Braemar to forage for food as snow continues to cover much of the UK.
Looking towards Slieve Binnian, Mourne Mtns - by Jon, Portadown
Fiend or foe.... By Robin McCormick. Dec 2010
Silent Valley from Slieve Lamagan, Mourne Mtns - by Jon, Portadown
Craigavon Lake. By J O'Neill. Dec 2010
My Son Zack enjoying the snow. Dec 2010. By Trish Taylor in Derry
Spelga Dam 1.12.10 Taken by Ronan Sherry
Craigavon Lakes 1/12/10. Brian Portadown
My chocolate labrador Levi . Jason Davidson Ballymoney
Mournes snowboarding. Submitted by Gav
Sammy & Harvey enjoying the snow by Miriam Taylor, Belfast
Swans on the canal, Ballynahinch. By Pauline Rainey. Dec 2010
Broadwater Canal Aghalee. By Michelle Myles, Maghaberry
Foraging for food , Ballyclare. By Joan Wilson
Snow covered Brooke Park, Derry
Baby, it's cold outside!. By Sinead Hoben, Newry
Summit of Donard. By Brian, Portadown Caption:
Snowman. By Rod Mulholland Nov 2010
Little Aoibheann McElhone from Claudy braves the cold to make a snowwoman
Adam Kerr (6) makes the most of the snow on monday as he adds the finishing touches to an igloo at the Playtrail in Londonderry.
Stramore Road. Gilford. By 'jocorleone' Nov 2010
First time on a sleigh. Submitted by Jenny Kordys, Drumaness Nov 2010
Two-year-old Sophie Duffy enjoys herself after falling out of her sleigh at LIsnagelvin in Derry
Dromore Lane. By Rod Mulholland.Tobermore. Nov 2010
St Canice's Church Eglinton . By Willie Robb Eglinton Nov 2010
Frozen Cat: By Pauline Belfast
Craigavon lakes frozen and dusted with snow. By Jeremy Clifford, Craigavon Nov 2010
Kells, Antrim.Submitted by 'keveddy'
My pug enjoys snow for the first time. By 'littlestirishone' Nov 2010
Snow covered Brooke Park, Derry. Pablo O'Connor and his mum Laura.
Laura Henderson, south Belfast
River moyola tobermore. picture submitted by Rod Mulholand.Tobermore. 30.03.2010
A woman walks across the M3 in heavy snow in Cavan
A delivery man works in heavy snow in Cavan town
A woman walks through heavy snow in Cavan
Belfast Telegraph readers' pics of winter weather: Icy Waterfall on January 11. By Katie S., Killarney National Park
Snowy Fence around Ballymena. By Barry Lau - Ballymena
RIVER BANN,BALLYDOWN,BANBRIDGE, BY STEPHEN McDOWELL
Gallery of Belfast Telegraph readers' snow pictures Castle Gardens, Lisburn. By Tom Porter
A Winter Sun In Lisburn. By Tom Porter
Beautiful trees on divis mountains. By Pauline
Entrance to Belvoir. By Des Meredith at Belvoir
belvoir forest park. By fiona donnan  belfast
Lisburn's Winter Wonderland. By Tom, Lisburn
Mourne Mountains. By John Mitchell, Belfast
Wallace Park, Lisburn. By Tom, Lisburn
Strule Bridge. By Stevie, Omagh
Angela Eadie & her daughters having fun in the snow.
Cycling like madman on Sunday. By Lawrence Smith , Cavehill
Pictures taken in Aghagallon Village. By Etta Mullan
River Blackwater Maghery
near ballymoney. By nev walker
Foyle Walkway Derry. By Patsy Devine. Derry City
Eglinton village on a winter's morning. By tony doherty
Glenelly Valley Co Tyrone. By Patsy Devine Stroanbrack Co Tyrone
my back garden. By Brendan Donaghy
Cregagh Glen Belfast. By Peter Forster, Belfast
Lack , Co Fermanagh. By Doreen Gibson
Lough Neagh, Alan, Daniel and Aaron Monaghan, Maghery
THE TREE. By Moyaleen By William Pullins
Moira Demesne. By Peter B Waddell
Snow in Lurgan Park. By Margaret Taylor
Maghery, River Blackwater
ross , and alfie the snowman. By ross clarke
The Frozen River Bann in Portadown. By Gary English, Portadown
Rear of Armagh Cathedral in the early evening. By Gary English, Portadown
granny's house in the snow, magheranappin co donegal
My back garden. By Brenda Lennon, Munster, Germany
Frozen lakeside at Lurgan Park. By Jenny Hanna, Lurgan
Brownlow House, from Lurgan Park. By Jenny Hanna, Lurgan
Henry in snow!!By Jenny Hanna, Lurgan
Hazy Shade of Winter, Lagan Meadows. By Gavin Sloan
Shaws Bridge. By Tara, west Belfast.
River Foyle from Bay Park. By Pat Devine Derry City
Scots Pine, Ballinderry. By Peter B Waddell
Topiary, Nutts Corner. By Peter B Waddell
Cavehill. By Philip McCloy
Cavehill Robin. By Philip McCloy
Towards Silent Valley. By N Walker, Belfast
This is what I call a snow man, taken just before Moira roundabout. By Gillian Musgrave
Lady Dixon Park, Belfast. By Audrey Matchett
Frozen Beauty, Lady Dixon Park Malone. By Peter Breene
Lone walker at Lady Dixon Park Malone. By Peter Breene
River lagan at Drumbeg. By Peter Breene
Whitewater River, Kilkeel
Frozen Lough, Temple Co Down. By Iain Gregory
River Foyle, Derry. Photo by John Gallagher
Keeping the road clear at Spelga Dam. By Robert in Kilkeel
Spelga Dam in a snow shower. By Robert in Kilkeel
Slippy. By Chris O'Neill, Lagan belfast
no sailing. By Chris O'Neill Belfast
Noleen Cartmill & daughter Katie enjoy the slopes at Spelga Dam
The McCauley family from Rathfriland share the snowy slopes at Spelga Pass
A Frozen Lagan, Ormeau Bridge, Belfast
Scrabo Hill. By Jim Devlin Dundonald
A Robin on Slieve Donard. By Damien Conway, Belfast
MOSSLEY MILL POND. By ROY ORR MOSSLEY
The Water Hole/ The dam at the back of the Valley Leisure centre Newtownabbey. By Philip Mccloy
mournes..towards silent valley. By n.walker/belfast
Hazy Shade of Winter. By Gavin Sloan Lagan Meadows
Minnowburn Beeches. By Jayne Gregory Lagan Valley
An apple a day. By N Walker, Belfast
Redbreast, River Lagan. By B Maguire
Victoria Park, Belfast. By Glen Dunwoody, Belfast
High and dry. By John Hughes, Newtownabbey
Lovers Lane, Merville Garden Village, Newtownabbey. By John Hughes, Newtownabbey
Belvoir forest park on 9th January, by Clare Harvey
Minnowburn Bridge. By Diane McKeaveney
winter on the Lagan - taken on the bridge at McIlroy Park, Dunmurry. By Helen Millar
winter on the Lagan - taken on the bridge at McIlroy Park, Dunmurry. By Helen Millar
winter on the Lagan - taken on the bridge at McIlroy Park, Dunmurry. By Helen Millar
Mournes from divis. By n.walker/belfast
Daniel and Luke Kelly enjoying the snow in Glengormley. By Stephen Kelly
Snow shapes in the Mournes. By Paul Kavanagh, Rathfriland
Ollie in his first snow. By Ruth M.McKinley, Portadwon
Winter visitor to my back garden. Almost fell down trying to get my camera. By Martin in Banbridge
Two little visitors. By Thomas Braniff, Ballymena
Doing the post in Carryduff. By Liam Mackel, Belfast
Twirly Whirly. By Sinead Hoben, Newry
Riverside Park. By Andy, Ballymoney
Snowy days: Matthew and Owen Irvine , Maghaberry
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Frozen pampas grass in Botanic Gardens. By Feldore McHugh, Belfast
Zara, Lewis & Dylan with mum at Lurgan Park. By Gareth Crooks
Frozen playhouse. By Sinead Hoben, Newry
Grandson Caleb Patterson braving the slippery conditions to post some letters. By William McVeigh, Comber
National University of Ireland, Maynooth campus. By Helen McVeigh, Belfast
Ice on the River Bann near Coleraine. By K Rowland, Kilrea
Ice flows at Craigavon Bridge. By Alfie McAleer, Derry
Hikers along the Mournes Wall. By Paul Kavanagh, Rathfriland
Mournes in January. By Paul Kavanagh, Rathfriland
Royal Portrush frozen 3rd green. By Andy, Ballymoney
River Lagan. By B Maguire
John Mitchell, Mourne Mountains. By John Mitchell, Belfast
High Mournes over Silent Valley to the Irish sea. By Paul Kavanagh, Rathfriland
Frozen Lagan at Ormeau Bridge. By Philip McErlean
Victoria Park. By Elizabeth McQuillan, Belfast
Frost on tree branches. By Rach Co Down
Frozen River in Dunmurry. By Tierna Magee, Belfast
Snow over Belfast. By Lisa Kyle
CEF in the snow. By Lisa Kyle
Robin in cold snap. By Jeffrey Bingham, Banbridge
Tree at Lower Ballinderry. By George Glover
Cascum Road, Banbridge at sunset. By Gordon Mc Clintock, Banbridge.
Fat Robin. By Elizabeth McQuillan, Belfast
Frances Wilson on skis in Springwell Forest near Coleraine. By Peter Wilson, Portstewart
Waterworks Park. Submitted by Mary Torney, Belfast
Hillsborough Forest Park. Submitted by Jo Maguire, Lambeg
Missy on Ice. Submitted by Mary Torney, Belfast
Ballougry Road, County Londonderry. Submitted by Stephen Hogg, Ballymagorry
Overlooking the Minnowburn Beeches. Submitted by Geoff McConaghie
At the rose garden over looking Malone House. Submitted by Geoff McConaghie
Anna and Amy Smith on the ice at the Waterworks. Submitted by Mary Torney, Belfast
Hoarfrost on hogweed at River Bann at Gilford, County Down. Submitted by Ken Stewart. Lurgan
At the giants ring. Submitted by Geoff McConaghie
Under the Minnowburn Bridge. Submitted by Geoff McConaghie
Tildarg from Collin Mountain. Submitted by William McCullough, Glenwherry
While in our car. Coleraine Mountain Rd, Londonderry
A robin in the winter sun. Submitted by Derek Laverty, Lisburn
Strabane Lifford border. Submitted by Stephen Hogg, Ballymagorry
Banks of the River Foyle. Submitted by Stephen Hogg, Ballymagorry
Feed our feathered friends. Submitted by Derek Laverty, Lisburn
The best way to keep warm. Submitted by Derek Laverty, Lisburn
Foyle Railway, Londonderry. Submitted by Stephen Hogg, Ballymagorry
Londonderry. Submitted by Stephen Hogg, Ballymagorry
The Bann Bridge, Kilrea. Submitted by Brendan McAllister, Kilrea
The black bird has a rest. Submitted by Chrissie Carson, Dundrod
A tree on Lagan Tow Path, Lisburn. Submitted by Gary Boal
River Lagan. Submitted by Ivor Bradley, Belfast
Caption: Eoghan and Ronan, Cregagh Glen, Submitted by Bob McKeown, Belfast
Hillsborough Forest Park. Submitted by John Shaw, Lisburn
Swans and ducks in Enniskillen, Submitted by John Shaw, Lisburn
Minnowburn Bridge Belfast. Submitted by Trevor Woods
Mist rises over the hills of Dromara on Christmas morning. By Emma Bell, Dromore
Breathtaking views on a crisp Sunday walk at Murlough Bay (Jan 3rd). By Emma Bell, Dromore
Robin enjoying some hot porridge on a cold Christmas morning in Dromore. By Emma Bell, Dromore
hillsborough forest. By severine denis from france
hillsborough forest. By severine denis from france
Winter Landscape Glenravel County Antrim. By Donal O'Callaghan, Glenravel
This photograph was taken near Spelga. By Rosemary Cunningham driving to Hilltown
snow on barbed wire. By Rosemary Cunningham Spelga
Snow in the Kingdom, Co Kerry. By Éamonn ÓCeallaigh
Robin. By Paul Fryer Belfast
Looking over Belfast Lough from Loughshore Park
Looking towards Whiteabbey from Hazelbank Park
Loughshore Park looking towards Hazelbank Park, Whiteabbey
Ben, Christmas Day
The gorgeous Lime Tree Walk at the Argory in Co Armagh. By Julieann Graham The Birches
Frozen Tree. Wooden it be ice.Gransha Comber
River Lagan. By Trevor Woods
Snow on the holly. By Willie Robb Eglinton
View from Tí Chuilin Centre. By Alex Maskey. Mullaghban, Sth Armagh
View from Tí Chuilin Centre. By Alex Maskey. Mullaghban, Sth Armagh
Minnowburn Bridge Belfast. By Trevor Woods
A cold canter. By Alex Maskey, Forkhill, Sth Armagh
Tí Chuilin Centre, Sth Armagh. By Alex Maskey

The bad weather will "significantly" affect the UK economy and damage a still fragile recovery, according to leading economic researchers – with higher gas and electricity bills likely to follow record wholesale prices as demand for energy surges. Utility firms are likely to pass on these increases, on top of substantial rises already announced.

Analysts at HSBC say that, based on the experience of previous bad weather episodes in recent decades, £3bn could be lost in output. Other estimates range as high as £13bn – £500 per family.



Given the impact of public spending cuts and a weaker outlook for the European economy, where the weather has also been extreme, much of the hoped-for expansion in the last few months of 2010 will be lost, some of it forever, and growth may be pushed uncomfortably close to zero.



Some of the expenditure that had been expected to be "brought forward" ahead of the 4 January 2011 VAT hike may now simply not take place.



Spending at bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels is also unlikely to be made up later, and some Christmas presents will remain unbought.



The transport and construction sectors are two other high-profile losers; and disruption in supply chains promises to make the impact surprisingly severe for some companies, especially smaller ones even now being refused bridging finance by the banks. Many products are stuck at container ports and spare parts for vital machinery cannot be flown in, for example. Unemployment may rise as a result.



The greatest medium-term danger if the weather persists is to energy production, especially gas.



There will be some winners. The snow and ice has resulted in a doubling of car accident claims, with repair shops looking forward to a mini bonanza from fixing dents and prangs. And much output will be made up as the ice and snow thaw – as the Office for National Statistics suggests was the case during the bad weather last winter, when the economy bounced back strongly in the second quarter of the year.



There is evidence that inflation may be pushed higher by the demand for energy and shortages of some foods in the days and weeks ahead.



As UK wholesale spot gas prices jumped to a two-year high on near record demand, up one-third on a normal December, consumers will have to cope with a big increase in their heating bills over the next few months, as the utility companies seek to pass on the rise in domestic bills. That, in turn, will add to inflation and makes a rise in interest rates more likely. A combination of higher usage and rising tariffs on one of the most basic of all living costs will squeeze household budgets and their spending on other items.



If past winters are any guide, some crops will be hit, at a time when food prices are rising at their fastest rates since the 1970s – up 1.6 per cent in November alone, an annualised rate of 19.2 per cent. Freakish weather round the world has hit staples such as cereals; now home-grown produce, especially vegetables, will join the new era of dear food.



Thus, it also seems likely that the bad weather will have a noticeable impact on inflation, already way above the official target, and add to pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates. The need to maintain the Bank's credibility may tip the balance on the Monetary Policy Committee towards raising rates sooner rather than later – and that will have a potentially much bigger impact on mortgage bills.



New Year 2011 is likely to be far from prosperous for many Britons.

Belfast Telegraph

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