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Last week ended with some pretty bleak news for the UK economy. “Output shrinks yet again,” the broadcast news bulletins boomed. “Britain now faces the dreaded triple-dip recession”.

The latest UK GDP numbers are certainly disappointing. National output fell during the last three months of 2012, down 0.3pc on the quarter before. This economic contraction, the fine-print shows, was driven by a 1.8pc industrial production decline and, within that, a 1.5pc fall in manufacturing.
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