THE number of years Britain's unemployed will have to wait for their next job has been slashed from nine to eight, after an unexpected surge in business confidence.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants is predicting the economy will grow by 0.5% in the next quarter amid an increase in wishful thinking and jolly well putting a brave face on things.
A spokesman said: "Imagine planting a seed in the ground which then immediately grows downwards for about eight inches before changing its mind and growing upwards for about five inches.
"It's definitely an improvement, but you're still not going to get much in the way of courgettes."
He added: "Of course, as accountants we tend to be reasonably confident of being comfortably well off. Whether it's helping profitable companies reduce their tax bill, or helping unprofitable companies ease their way gently into receivership. It's always a nice looking graph."
Bill McKay, an unemployed sales representative from Doncaster, said: "What a relief. I was just thinking the other day that living in, sleeping on and eating cardboard could get somewhat tiresome after eight years."
Margaret Gerving, a former gift shop owner from Hatfield, added: "How marvellous. That should give me just enough time to write my novel and wean myself off my new and seemingly unquenchable desire for crystal meth."
The Treasury welcomed the report insisting that if the 0.5% growth rate can be maintained, Britain should be able to clear its £1 trillion worth of debt around the time mobile phones are replaced by telepathy and everyone can shoot laser beams from their eyes.