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UK economy fell into recession in second half of 2023

Britain’s economy entered a recession in the second half of 2023 after it shrank by a worse-than-expected 0.3% in the three months to December having also contracted by 0.1% between July and September, official data showed today.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a smaller 0.1% fall of gross domestic product (GDP) in the three months from October to December.

The Bank of England has said it expects the economy to pick up in 2024.

However, slow growth this year would still represent a difficult backdrop for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s attempts to woo voters ahead of a national election expected later in 2024.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said economic output fell by 0.1% in monthly terms in December after 0.2% growth in November. The Reuters poll had pointed to a 0.2% fall in December.

Sterling weakened moderately against the dollar and the euro shortly after the GDP data release.

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