With the trade deficit widening, growth slowing, and unemployment still high, house prices still rising (but more slowly - which in itself is another worrying sign), we're doomed, frankly, and we might as well face up to it.
The trade in goods deficit – exports minus imports – widened to £10.2bn from £9.4bn in June, disappointing City expectations that the deficit would narrow to £9.1bn.
It was almost matched the largest monthly deficit on record, which was £10.3bn in April 2012.
The broader trade in goods and services deficit also widened in July, to £3.3bn from £2.5bn in June. The Office for National Statistics data showed a larger goods deficit in July driven by a £1.3bn rise in imports to £34.2bn, outpacing a £500m increase in exports to £24bn.
Rising imports of fuel, chemicals and aircraft drove the deficit higher, while the rise in exports was driven by oil trade with non-EU countries and pharmaceutical exports.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research thinktank estimated separately that the UK economy grew by 0.6% in the three months to the end of August, suggesting the rate of growth is starting to slow.Britain has been running a trade deficit for decades, of course, but the scale of it is the concern here. It is simply too much, sustained for too great a period. And Tories are in charge. Which means it is time to buy beans and head for the hills.
(It's worth noting that the rise in exports was partly driven by oil sales - which belong to Scotland, of course. Which might explain why the establishment is so fervently opposed to independence. The Tories would rather have oil + 40 odd Scottish Labour MPs, than a Conservative hegemony over an utterly ruined, bankrupt country called England. At least with oil, they can carry on keeping up appearances a little while longer. )
It's almost like exporting 90% of the manufacturing sector, closing don traditional heavy industries and failing to invest in modern light alternatives, neglecting potential growth markets in renewable energy tech and so on wasn't such a smart idea. It is hard to run an economy based on serving coffee with flair and answering telephones. Especially as it is cheaper to do the latter from India.
Still, it isn't all bad. Economists are still getting things wrong, so at least some of the Eternal Verities are intact.
And, yes, I know, I am relying on these same economists for the forecast of slowing growth. Which makes me a hypocrite and a Bad Man.