Whatever the factors behind it, this spells trouble for Brown. A poor performance in the race to recovery not only calls his management of the economy into question, but it also undermines his anticipated "green shoots strategy". The PM will find it hard to brag about our "green shoots" when other countries already have full-grown plants.
You can expect the Tories to pounce on this - especially as the UK's Q3 growth statistics won't be out until after the Labour party conference, so we'll still officially be in recession when Brown takes to the stage in Brighton. Hardly the ideal backdrop to the Great Autumn Fightback.