The bulk of the recession has already passed, according to CBI forecasts, but a recovery is not expected to begin until the spring of 2010.

Estimates by the employers’ group suggest the first quarter of this year was the worst period of the recession so far, with a 1.8% decline in output compared with a 1.6% fall in gross domestic product in the final quarter of last year and a 0.7% drop in the third quarter.

But that brings the fall in output to 4% so far, which is about four-fifths of the total 5.1% fall in GDP that the CBI expects.

Financial Times