David Smith, writing in the Sunday Times, made this observation:
After a couple of weeks in America, I have one or two observations. Americans are more concerned about the level of petrol prices than about house prices. And in general, for a country going through a more severe adjustment than here, there is far less economic gloom, including in the media. Maybe we enjoy wallowing in it while they don’t.
Maybe it is to do with differences of national temperament - or maybe it is to do with something else. The press hate Gordon Brown, and are desperate for him and the Labour government to be replaced. They also know that they and the Tories have been predicting economic doom for eleven long years and it didn't materialize. I believe that the excessive negativity and doom and gloom are a concerted effort to talk Britain into a recession. Because without "help" of this sort, the economy might do it's usual resilient thing.
Speaking of resilience - John Lewis sales have started to rise again. They attributed it to cool weather sending people into shops. But it's as likely to do with falling petrol prices making people feel they have more to spend.