Norman Lamont told me last night that he was flattered by the use of the “green shoots” phrase by business minister Shriti Vadera.
He argued that words had been “pretty accurate” given that Britain pulled out of recession in the summer of 1992. He had spotted only “shoots, not bushes”.
By contrast, he said the UK is now only at the brink of a downturn. “When I said it we had been one year in recession. She is claiming the recession over before it has been formally announced.”
Figures out on January 23rd are expected to confirm that Britain has officially entered recession.
Chris Giles, our economics editor, points out to me that Lamont has a point:
He says: “The CBI employers’ organisation industrial trends survey of October 1991 showed a majority of businesses were optimistic for the first time since 1988. Currently it is at its lowest level in almost three decades.”