The Economy: Are you feeling the pinch?

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Coins in a walletImage source, bbc

The latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released by the Office for National Statistics show the UK economy grew by 0.2% in the second quarter of this year.

This reveals a slow down in the UK's economic growth, from a growth of 0.5% in the previous three months.

BBC News website readers have been describing how the economic situation is affecting them - and the pound in their pocket.

Collette Gorman, Manchester

I am a single parent of a 13-year-old. I work full time and I'm not on a rubbish wage but I have to pay for everything myself.

I have weekly direct debits for my bills but some weeks I find that I am unable to even buy food. On good weeks I tend to buy freezer items so that I can use these when I have bad weeks.

Image source, (C) British Broadcasting Corporation

It costs me £30 a week to just send my daughter to school when you add up bus fares and dinner money.

I've noticed over the last 12 months it's got harder and harder to make ends meet as the cost of everything is going up - food, gas, electricity, bills. Everything has gone up.

Luckily I work for a small family business and the people I work for are fabulous - if I really needed anything they would help.

I'm going on holiday this year, but it's paid for by my mum. If it wasn't for her my daughter and I wouldn't have a holiday.

I have never been out of work, but I know lots of people who don't work who sit in their lovely decorated homes, fully equipped with a 52" flat screen TV, have several children and go on two holidays a year and that really makes me angry.

Asher Jones, Bangor

In comparison to some you could say at 15k I earn a decent wage, but a quarter of my income goes on fuel, half on bills and whatever is left on food.

I provide for my partner and my five-year-old daughter and there is no way I can guarantee that there will be enough money for food each month.

Image source, Other
Image caption,
There is no way I can guarantee that there will be enough money for food each month

Things are gradually getting worse as the cost of living rises and wages stay the same. We're scrabbling around to make ends meet.

We shop for food week to week and chose pretty much the cheapest options. Sometimes all I can afford is eight tins of beans. If we can get something more exciting that's great.

My daughter needs a packed lunch for school, so she has to have nice yoghurt, nice sandwiches and we come second. My partner works part-time when she can, but that has to fit round our daughter.

The weird thing is if I was on benefits I would have more disposable income than when I am working, but I'm not that sort of person. I don't want my daughter going to school saying her dad is on the dole.

I used to be heavily involved in the music industry and had a promising music career but when the financial crisis hit all my international bookings fell through and I had no option but to get a job.

I'm an intelligent, hard working person with a willingness to progress but I am stuck in a never ending cycle of debt with what seems like no opportunity to progress.

Richard Douglas, London

Speaking as an architect running a medium sized practice in London, both public and private sector clients are on the floor, with very limited new work going forward.

Media caption,

George Osborne says 'we're creating jobs and providing stability'

The tide has gone out, and thousands of architects and other building professionals are currently being made redundant throughout the UK.

This recession is cutting very much deeper than the recession of the early 1990s.

I've never known anything like this. The recession of 1990-1995 was bad at the time but this one is worse because in the 1990s at least there was a public sector.

Today, everything has stopped. Of course there is still some work, but the big contrast is public sector work has dried up as well as considerable sections of the private sector.

Everyone in our organisation has taken a 10% pay cut and higher up we've taken a 15% cut. There are no dividends and no profits.

We are clinging on to the side of a cliff and there have been redundancies at all levels. We'll survive but it's due to big cuts.

The overall fee income in 2011 will be down 50% compared to 2007.

Everyone's lives and disposable incomes have been affected to a significant degree. And for those with mortgages, it's only low interest levels that have saved them from default.