The Bank of England is now on the verge of its first back-to-back interest rate cut in almost seven years, experts have claimed after a blizzard of miserable economic data. Daily Telegraph

The lion’s share of the economy is now close to outright contraction, as the effects of the credit crisis weigh on both consumers and companies, according to one of the most closely watched 'speed cameras' of British business.

Experts said the purchasing manager’s index had fallen so far that the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee looks increasingly likely to reduce borrowing costs tomorrow.

As its nine members start their two-day meeting today they will be mulling over some of the darkest figures yet on the state of the economy.