Belfast Telegraph

Ex-PR man Cameron is still spinning

By David Elliott

You've got to hand it to David Cameron. Faced with a paltry rise in Gross Domestic product of 0.5% he's acting as if we should be cracking open the champagne when we'd be better nipping home early to have a cup of cocoa and a quiet word to ourselves.

Perhaps he's been out in the sun too long or maybe he's just excited about his day out at Westminster Abbey tomorrow but there's no doubting the former PR man hasn't forgotten the art of spin.

Yes it's good news that we didn't experience another contraction in the economy and slip into recession again but when you look at the broader picture the 0.5% expansion of the UK economy only serves to replace the output lost during the last snow-bound quarter of 2010. In essence, the economy has stood still for half a year and shows few signs of picking up in the short term.

As the public sector spending cuts begin to take hold and inflationary pressures continue to squeeze disposable income there's every chance the second quarter of 2011 may paint a similar picture, or worse. So Mr Cameron, it might be best to face up to the short term realities rather than trying to spin poor data to a weary audience.