The AA has reported a 20% increase in call-outs from motorists who have run out of fuel, a figure hailed by keen motorist George Osborne as 'a real sign of growing confidence in Britain.'
With thousands of car owners trying to eke out a few extra miles from their tanks using will power alone, some pundits claim they haven't seen such blind optimism since the early '80s.
"If you're prepared to ignore the tell-tale signs such as an amber light or 'not actually moving any more', it's easy to convince yourself your economy is in great shape", explained Osborne.
While a full tank of fuel may be little more than a pipe-dream for most drivers, that hasn't stopped braver people from trying to make it home from the office.
"For some reason, I thought I could travel about the same distance as I could a week ago for £80", admitted car owner Hugh Davidson. "But by Thursday, I was desperately tapping at the fuel gauge."
Osborne thinks Davidson should give it another go next week. "Interfering with key indicators in this way should definitely help", he insisted. "I'd advise him to ignore any pessimistic short range forecasts."
Attempting journeys that the driver knows are impossible is becoming an increasingly popular pass-time. "That's why we're encouraging people to buy an electric car, or to use the M6 around Birmingham on a Friday", explained Osborne.
The chancellor is also pinning his hopes on future oil levels, having forgotten how to open the bonnet on his Bentley. "I'm sure it'll be fine, even though Cable wants me to stop and re-check it."
"I've told him there’s no need to trouble ourselves with thoughts of a double dip."