This is a town, like many other towns. Perhaps you live somewhere like this.
In this town, many people work in the local shops and factories. Some travel further, by rail or road, to a job in another town.
The shops are very important to the town.
When somebody buys bread at the bakery, the baker can use some of that money to buy meat from the local butcher. The butcher may then spend some of this money to have his car serviced at the nearby garage.
This system of people passing money around is called a 'local economy'.
Some experts think that if you spend a shilling, it will be worth ten shillings to the town, because it will have been handed around so many times.
This lady is not helping the local economy.
She is buying her food from a supermaket that sends most of its money to another town, many miles away. But the supermarket is cheap and the lady is worried that she cannot afford to buy her food in the local shops.
The lady is not the only person in the town worrying about money. When a lot of people start to worry about money at the same time and begin buying fewer things, this is called a 'recession'.
A recession affects most people in the town.
The fishmonger says that fewer people are buying fresh fish from his shop this year. Because of this, he will have to get rid of his assistant and may even close the shop.
He is very worried.
Some governments will try to stop people worrying by spending more money, to protect jobs and help businesses.
If fewer jobs are lost, more people will spend money in the shops. But this town has a government that is trying to mend the recession by spending less.
Because the Government is giving less money to people, many shops and businesses in the town are beginning to close. Some people are losing their jobs.
At this local factory, a man called Robert has been told that he is going to lose his job as a sales manager.
He will also have to hand back his 'company car', which was given to him by the factory.
Robert is very worried about how this will affect his family.
Robert and his family live in a nice new housing estate, but it is a long way from the centre of town. They will now have to catch a bus to go the shops.
The buses are expensive and some of the passengers smell.
Robert likes drinking wine.
Since he lost his job, Robert has been drinking more wine. His wife is worried that they cannot afford it, but Robert says that the wine cheers him up.
Wine can make people forgetful.
Robert has forgotten to pay for his bottle of wine.
As he leaves the shop, a policeman arrives. The policeman was called by the shopkeeper, who was worried that Robert has stolen the wine.
In a recession, when people cannot afford to buy the things they want, some of them steal. If they are caught, they may go to prison.
This lady may not look like a thief, but she has stolen an expensive handbag.
She is trying to pretend that the handbag is hers. The other woman is getting cross.
The lady wanted the handbag because she had seen a lot of advertisements for it.
When people who have no money keep being told to buy things they cannot afford, they can become sad or angry.
Some young people became so angry that they robbed this department store and set fire to it. The store will probably not open again and a lot of shopworkers will lose their jobs.
Most people are afraid of losing their job.
However, the Government is worried that a lot of people would prefer to stay at home and watch television instead of working and paying taxes, so they are changing the law.
These men will not be able to watch television all day, as they now live outdoors.
They used to live in houses that belonged to the town, but they were told that these homes were too big for them.
The Government would like these men to live in smaller homes and get a job.
But they will have trouble finding work, as they cannot look smart for a job interview.
Nobody knows when the recession will end.
Robert and his wife have decided to have a fresh start in Australia, where Robert will work at his brother-in-law's carpet cleaning business.
Robert is not very interested in carpet cleaning.
They will all miss their family and friends.
The town was their home, but they know that even if the recession ends, the old shops will not reopen and life will never quite be the same again.