The UK is facing deflation after suffering a slow puncture somewhere near Kidderminster, experts have confirmed.
The leak was discovered after residents complained that the ground was sinking underfoot and of a persistent hissing noise.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney said: “Like all island nations, the UK has to be constantly inflated to keep afloat.
“The workforce can bounce back from a short period of deflation, albeit less springily than they’re used to, but prolonged deflation will leave everyone uncomfortably bunched together in the middle of the country around Lancashire.
“Repair trucks containing a 400-square mile patch, 350,000 gallons of rubber cement and experts at spotting tiny strings of bubbles are currently travelling to the affected area.
“We are confident that we’ll soon locate the leak and won’t end up like Japan, which has been completely flat since the 1990s after they went down and then couldn’t find the valve.”