George Osborne
George Osborne won't be celebrating in public.Reuters

So it is "official", the Great Recession is over and chancellor George Osborne is being showered with praise by supporters for sticking to his austerity guns and getting Britain through the worst economic times of the modern era. So why doesn't he look more cheerful?

The Times newspaper led the celebrations with the front page headline declaring the recession over while the Daily Mail was a little more circumspect but still reported the OECD's view that, with output now virtually at the level it was in 2008, Osborne's austerity had been proved the right course after all.

And with just a year to go to the general election, the declaration from leading economists is just about the best bit of good news the government could have wished for and, one would think, the worst possible development for Labour.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has already been forced to abandon his "Plan B" demands and leader Ed Miliband has attempted to move the debate onto the cost of living and the battle between figures and feelings – the figures tell you things are getting better, your feelings tell you something quite different.

However, the one person we will not hear crowing about the latest statistics and using the phrase "it's over" is the chancellor himself. Or any other sensible minister, all of who are under strict orders not to gloat or appear triumphalist.

UK house prices
Mortgage holders may see interest rate hike.Reuters

And that is not simply because one set of figures don't make an economic summer, or that it is still debateable whether the numbers show the line has actually been crossed, rather than simply touched as the "real" official figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

That, of course, is part of the problem. Arguing over the precise meaning of the figures is entirely disconnected from what people are experiencing in their daily lives and can either leave them cold or actually irritate those not feeling any better off.

Neither is the government's caution because of the real possibility that the Bank of England will not now be able to resist raising interest rates after their historically low levels, which will start to hit everyone with a mortgage, although that is certainly a factor.

What is really worrying ministers is the combination of all these factors, combined with distrust of and disengagement from politics and politicians which has led to widespread talk about a "voteless recovery".

One Tory insider even said stories declaring it was now all over were "not helpful" because most people didn't feel it and it could encourage complacency.

A survey for the Mirror newspaper this week showed that 54% of the public believe the economy is improving while 34% do not.

But when asked about their own circumstances, only 17% said they thought were getting better financially for them while 30% believed things were getting worse. And it is that trend that Miliband has tapped into with his cost of living agenda.

The same effect was seen in a survey by the supermarket Asda. Its "Mumdex" index of women voters showed a big rise in confidence over the economic future, from minus 13 in April 2013 to plus two last month.

And it reported: "Scores for three of our measures, the outlook for the UK economy, their family's quality of life, and household finances, have all leapt up by an unprecedented margin and are responsible for the breakthrough from overall pessimism into overall optimism."

But the twist was that almost three-quarters wanted the Government to do more to tackle the cost-of-living crisis while the majority believed politicians as a whole did not represent them and did not appreciate the financial pressures they were under.

So, while the statistics continue to offer an optimistic message for the government, feelings amongst voters is markedly different as polls routinely suggest they are still not feeling personally better off.

At that suggests that, no matter how official or unofficial the end of the recession is, it could mean precious little in terms of voter's intentions.