No comment?


Official figures released tomorrow are expected to show a further deterioration in the government's finances. Rising  unemployment and a slowdown in wage rises mean that the Treasury is raking in less income and national-insurance taxes. Slowing business activity and a gloomy housing market mean that corporation tax and stamp duty have been hit too. But government spending, of course, continues – so the borrowing gap continues to widen.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry on Thursday will report an accelerating downturn in business, with fewer and fewer orders coming in. (The Institute of Chartered Accountants has already catalogued a nosedive in business confidence over the last year and a quarter.) Retailers too are likely to reveal a drop in sales when they report on Thursday. New GDP figures are likely to show UK growth as positive, but (at 1.6%) significantly below its long-term trend of roughly 2%.

Is Gordon Brown still on holiday? Even if he isn't, I'm sure he won't be available for comment.