Recent weeks have brought unwelcome economic news, suggesting that the UK economy could be in need of urgent medical attention.
The UK economy is in a state of double-dip recession, and concerns are mounting that recent falls in inflation could be coming to an abrupt halt.
The Guardian's Larry Elliott notes that, in particular, the news that we are back in recession makes things difficult for Chancellor George Osborne:
Elliott says: "Slow growth makes it harder for the government to hit its deficit-reduction targets and may well result in the UK having its credit-rating downgraded. That would be a bitter blow for Osborne, since his entire economic and political strategy has relied on the UK remaining in the dwindling club of nations with a prized AAA rating."
Against this backdrop, XpertHR's economic commentary for May 2012 looks at prospects for growth, youth unemployment, public sector cuts, and asks if the age of austerity might be only just beginning.