So unemployment has risen for a fourth month in a row - and barely half the increase came from Rover. It may be only 2.7 per cent, a "tight" labour market by traditional reckoning, but a trend is a trend and it always starts somewhere.
You might think there is less money around. The shopkeepers have been weeping into their gin since before Christmas. Some people are paying off their credit card debts instead of switching to a new zero per cent offer. House prices may or may not be falling, but in terms of deals done, the housing market is only ticking over.
It would be easy to make out that the great British consumer-driven miracle that sets us apart from the sad, euro-shuffling continentals is starting to unravel - easy but grossly misleading.
Start with jobs. Yes, there are more people claiming the dole, but there are more people in work, too - 196,000 more of them than this time last year.
Astonishingly, for more than a year these new jobs have been coming from the private sector, not from Gordon Brown's public sector spending spree. Most are full-time jobs, too - there are actually fewer part-timers.
John Butler, the HSBC economist, points out that the rise in the number of full-time workers this year has been sharper than at any time since records began in 1992.
The jobs are generating income, as they should, beating inflation by three per cent over the past year, according to Legal & General's Professor Andrew Clare.
That is reflected in consumer confidence. It is holding up better than retail sales. The GFK index show people distinctly more sure about their own financial prospects than about the wider economy, another healthy sign.
So most of our fellow citizens are quite well off - and know it. Unhappily that doesn't mean nothing can go wrong.
We are part of a global economy where the Americans are inching up their interest rates and trying to get their people to spend a bit less and save a bit more. And when the Americans spend less we all feel it.
Then there is the housing market. Prof Clare reckons that last year 9p in every #1 of British consumers' spending power came from homebuyers re-mortgaging for a larger sum. It is still happening, but only for 3p in the pound.
Meantime, many homebuyers who took out stunningly cheap two-year fixed rate mortgages in 2003 are finding their two years are up. Today's deals are less stunning. This could cost at least #100 a month on a #100,000 mortgage - enough to make a difference.
Finally, there is our Chancellor. The Treasury's "Red Book" on Budget Day showed the taxman's share of Britain's gross domestic product rising from 37 per cent last year to 38.5 per cent over the next two years - again, enough to notice.
Prof Clare sees a scenario where the Bank of England cuts interest rates to offset the deadening effect of Treasury's taxes.
With luck it will never come to that - and so far we're doing rather well.