British economy narrowly avoids recession – data

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According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK economy showed no growth in the fourth quarter of last year, narrowly avoiding recession at the end of 2022.

Analysts had predicted a flat GDP, which followed a 0.3% contraction in the previous quarter. Another decline would have pushed the UK into a technical recession, with two consecutive quarters of decline.

The British economy, on the other hand, fell 0.5% month on month in December, according to the ONS.

The contraction, which came after an unrevised 0.1% increase in November, was caused in part by early winter snow disruptions and strikes, including a Royal Mail dispute.

The services sector in the country saw flat output in the last quarter, owing to declines in the education, transportation, and storage sub-sectors.

Meanwhile, a 0.3% increase in the construction sector was offset by a 0.2% decrease in the manufacturing sector from October to December.

“The economy contracted sharply in December, implying that there was no growth in the economy over the last three months of 2022,” said Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics.

“In December, public services suffered from fewer operations and GP [doctor] visits, owing in part to the impact of strikes, as well as significantly lower school attendance.”

Overall, GDP is expected to rise by 4% in 2022, following a 7.6% increase in 2021 as the economy recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Despite recent household income squeezes, restaurants, bars, and travel agencies had a strong year. Meanwhile, health and education began to recover from the pandemic’s effects,” Morgan said.