I think the frost just got to them.
Household spending tumbles to lowest level since 1980 as wages suffer record fall.
City analysts yesterday described the figures as both 'staggering' and 'awful'.
How about staggeringly awful?
Most companies have been running down stocks held in their warehouses. These inventories have fallen at their fastest rate since 1948.
In fact stock levels are now so low that firms will now have to start issuing orders, which will help manufacturers.
Indeed. Unfortunately, few of those manufacturers are in Britain. So a good proportion of that £125 billion recently pumped into the economy by the Bank of England will float off abroad never to be seen again - bye bye money, bye bye.
We're fast running out of things we can flog off to foreign companies to try and recoup some of that cash. The Royal Mail is up next, but after that ..... perhaps we can privatise parliament? It might not work any better, but at least as a privately run enterprise they are likely to find their expenses tightened up a bit if they were run by the Tata Group.
The Mail is also suggesting that Labour ministers are backing the idea of an October election - which sounds like a barking mad idea given the current climate, but one that I would not rule out.
Mr Brown is said to be preparing a 'national plan' showing how Britain will climb out of recession, to be announced after the expected rout in the local and European elections.
Yeeeesss - but more importantly it will be just about the time when the "stimulus" has had its greatest effect so that those "green shoots" look a little more promising, but not too late so that the looming prospect of rampant inflation and stagnating economy has appeared over the horizon. It may not be enough to win the election, but it might limit the damage - and then, of course, once the tsunami of national debt, stagflation and burgeoning unemployment finally hit home it will be jolly old Dave and the Cameroons running the show.
Two years of sheer hell for the Tories as they are forced to radically cut spending, massively raise taxes and struggle to maintain order before they are forced to the polls once more and another Labour landslide.