UK economy fell into recession in second half of 2023

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 1:07 AM

LONDON (Reuters) – 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 on Wednesday.

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

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.

(Reporting by Suban Abdulla; Editing by William Schomberg and Kate Holton)