We are told by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), that the UK is likely to record a second successive quarter of contraction by the end of March.
When the international bean counters have finished their work, this would be very bad news for Chancellor George Osborne, as he struggles with our debt mountain.
Meanwhile, several other forecasters, including Deloittes, are suggesting there is a little cause for optimism.
As a manufacturer at the coal face, I can say that, with my company, having a wide customer base, figures for the first three months of this year are better than the same period last year.
Nothing fantastic, just a little encouraging. So I would go along with the optimists.
However, I wonder if the petrol shortage fiasco, clumsily handled, was on the face of it, a clever political ploy to encourage the public to go out and spend lots of money by filling their tanks.
In so doing, the figures for the first quarter of 2012 would receive a nice boost, perhaps just enough to tip the scales for a positive reading.
Never underestimate a politician who has a desire to make a point.
Angus Maude, together with Prime Minister David Cameron, both encouraged motorists to fill up their tanks. At today’s high prices, across the country, this will have caused a lot of money to change hands. Even the usually sensible William Hague, was heard giving his support to the advice.
So I have not the slightest doubt that this was a co-ordinated plan, which from their point of view, might turn out to be very successful when the sums are totted up.
This country is not out of the woods yet. For instance, industry needs all the help it can get. I do not hold out much hope that much of the £20 billion the Government has allocated to help small businesses will actually get through to the companies that need it most.
The banks, apart from HSBC, will handle all applications and the same standards in terms of risk will be applied as for a normal loan.
Perhaps I am being cynical, but I cannot think of any other way to galvanise members of the public to spend, spend, spend.
We shall know within three months if their ploy has worked.
* Russell Luckock is chairman of Birmingham pressings firm AE Harris