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by RAY FLEMING
SO Alistair Darling was wrong after all. Obviously, Gordon Brown should have fired him during last weekend's Cabinet reshuffle. The Chancellor has consistently said that there would be an easing of Britain's recession by the end of this year but his view has always been dismissed by his critics as blue-sky thinking in the hope that the economy would sort itself out before a general election in May or June 2010. Now comes news that Mr Darling's calculations were at least six months awry -- according to a report yesterday from one of the most respected economic think tanks in Britain, the recession is already over. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research said that the fall in GDP had bottomed-out in March and it had begun to rise in April and May, with the likelihood that the recession will end officially in the coming quarter. The Institute, which tends to get things right more often than it gets them wrong, acknowledges that thus far the recovery is mainly in manufacturing and will take time to seep through to less responsive parts of the economy. Jobs will still be lost and companies will still fail but the downward momentum, it says, has slowed and is even disappearing. So, on this basis, Mr Darling's gross error was not to be too optimistic but to be too cautious about Britain's ability to ride the recession. A good fault.