Recession may be over, Mandelson claims

By Jon Ashford

Recent economic indicators are a sign that the worst of the recession may be over, according to Peter Mandelson.

The business secretary was quick to praise the government’s actions as the reason for the encouraging reports:

“It does seem the measures we’ve taken as a government and those measures taken internationally are having a positive effect,” he told BBC Radio 4.

The newest data shows an improvement in the job market for the first time in 17 months.

This prompted a leading economic think tank – the National Institute of Economic and Social Research – to predict the UK had experienced growth between April and July.

Further boosts to the UK’s economy came when it was announced the FTSE index of 100 leading shares traded over 5000 points – a peak not seen since September last year.

But Lord Mandelson went on to warn of overconfidence, stressing the danger of a “double-dip recession”.

“Given that risk, we have to be sure that the measures and interventions that we are undertaking at the moment are continued and not withdrawn prematurely,” he said.

The IMF predicts the UK will be one of the slowest nations to recover from the recession, behind most of Europe.

Labour strategists are relying on an improvement in the nation’s economic prospects for its general election campaign.