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The Chancellor George Osborne will know whether the UK has headed into a double dip recession when he enters the cabinet meeting this morning. The rest of the world will have to wait until 9:30 am on Wednesday to find out.

First quarter figures will be announced on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS’s figures provide a snapshot of the wellbeing of the country’s economy. The previous quarter saw the GDP (gross domestic product) shrink by 0.3%. Two consecutive quarters of negative growth will mean that the country has fallen back into recession which will be a major setback for the country’s financial recovery, as well as a major headache for the government.

If the country does slip into a double dip recession it will be the first time it has happened in 37 years. Many people are predicting that the UK will only just escape the dreaded double dip which would see UK households being affected with jobs being threatened, higher inflation and a higher cost of living.

Peter Dixon, strategist with Commerzbank, said: ‘If we do escape a double-dip recession it will be by the skin of our teeth. Trade and industrial production have not been encouraging. ‘I am forecasting growth of 0.2 per cent but there is really big uncertainty around that figure.’