The latest figures showing the recession has deepened with a 0.7 per cent drop in output between April and June make for gloomy reading.
The decline is larger than expected, and has been blamed on a sharp downturn in the construction sector.
In Birmingham, however, there are grounds for more optimism.
The announcement of 1,100 new jobs at the Jaguar plant in Castle Bromwich is a huge fillip amid uncertain times. It represents a vote of confidence in the work force, and will mean a chance to get off the dole for many jobless in that part of the city. Let us not forget that just two years ago the company was in serious difficulties with the Birmingham plant thought to be in danger of closure. We also have the exciting image on the front page on today’s Birmingham Post of what might come to pass in Paradise Circus.
With plans submitted and money also unlocked for a city centre enterprize zone, while the nation sits in the grip of a double dip recession, the very early shoots of recovery are starting to grow in the Midlands.