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Figures show 2023 UK recession slightly weaker than first thought

The recession in the United Kingdom that entered in the latter half of 2023 was slightly less severe than first thought.

The Office for National Statistics revealed this on Thursday as it released revised figures.

The economy still shrank for two quarters in a row, the definition of a recession, but the total contraction over that six-month period dropped from 0.5 percent to 0.4 percent.

This is because of a small revision to the fourth quarter gross national product (GDP), where the rate of contraction fell from 0.31 percent to 0.34 percent.

It is combined with the third quarter, which was unrevised when measured to two decimal places, which left a slightly lower headline figure, the ONS said.

“Our updated set of GDP figures shows quarterly growth unrevised across 2023, with a little growth in the first quarter and small contractions in the latter half of the year.’’

The ONS Director of Economic Statistics, Liz McKeown, made this known.

“New figures on households show that savings remained high, with an increase in income in the last quarter of the year.”

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokeswoman Sarah Olney said: “These damning figures confirm the damage done to the UK economy by Rishi’s recession.

“This conservative government has no plan for growth or to help families pay the price for years of economic chaos through soaring mortgages and rents.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said: `Last year was tough as interest rates had to rise to bring down inflation, but we can see our plan is working.” (dpa/NAN)

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