It's official: double dip continues into a third quarter as economy shrinks by 0.7 per cent

Economy now smaller than when coalition took power

George Osborne is not impressed. Construction was the largest sectoral fall. Photograph: Getty Images

[UPDATED] The ONS's preliminary estimates for the second quarter of 2012 show that the economy shrank by 0.7 per cent, making this the first double-dip recession since World War II to last more than two quarters, and pushing the double dip recession further into the realm of a full blown recession in its own right. While some economic markers, particularly unemployment, are improving, overall it looks like the economy is getting worse rather than better.

The worst prior estimate for the figures was a contraction of 0.4 per cent. While the ONS does not explicitly blame the diamond jubilee for some of the contraction, they acknowledge that it introduces a large element of uncertainty into the accounts, and realistically it would only have a negative impact. In addition, the terrible weather is likely to have had a negative affect.

But those excuses are not enough to undo one crucial fact: the economy is now smaller than it was when the coalition took power.