This is turning out to be one of the slowest recoveries on record. In a sense this should be no surprise. Recessions that originate in financial distress take much longer to work through the system and recovery is slower. That's in part why such a rapid pace of deficit reduction was always going to be damaging to growth, as I have repeatedly warned.
Indeed, while the UK may not (yet) have met the technical definition of double dip recession, basically there has been no at all growth in the UK economy since September 2010. Since then we have seen three quarters of falling output and just two quarters of economic expansion. The economy is at best flatlining, and this is a slower recovery than even that seen after the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The government - and the Governor of the Bank of England - maintain that the eurozone crisis has affected the demand for the UK's exports and that otherwise the economy would have been 'on track'.
But that argument doesn't stack up. In fact, net trade has actually boosted growth to some extent (although admittedly not by nearly as much as hoped - in part because we had allowed our manufacturing base to shrivel up so much). Rather, the big factor pulling down economic growth has been consumption spending, which accounts for something like two-thirds of gross domestic product.
Consumer spending dropped heavily in the recession over 2008 and 2009, picked up somewhat from late 2009 into 2010, then fell again until the final quarter of 2011.
Consumers have suffered the biggest fall in real incomes for decades - maybe even since the 1920s. Inflation has outstripped wage growth, driven by imported factors such as higher energy costs and the depreciation of sterling, as well as the domestically-generated rise in VAT.
With inflation now falling, the hope is that consumers will start to feel better off later this year and that higher consumer spending will eventually drive recovery.
But at best that will take some time, and at worst is vulnerable to an oil price spike. And despite hopes of recovery at the start of this year, the OECD has just said that the UK is after all heading back into recession. It said that the UK will be one of the slowest of the world's large economies to recover in the first half of 2012.
The gloomy outlook was reinforced recently by revised figures from the Office for National Statistics, which reported a bigger drop in economic output in the final quarter of 2011 than previously thought, with a 0.2% output drop revised down to a 0.3% fall.
The latter matched figures just produced by the OECD, which reported an annualised rate of decline of 1.2% in the final quarter of 2011, and an estimated 0.4% decline in the first three months of 2012.
That would put the UK back into double dip recession. With 85% of government spending cuts yet to kick in, I still wonder where the growth is going to come from.
Professor David Bailey works at Coventry University Business School