British GDP figures to confirm worst double-dip recession in 50 years [TheGuardian]


GDP figures to be released on Wednesday will paint a gloomy picture for Britain

GDP figures to be released on Wednesday will paint a gloomy picture for Britain. Photograph: EPA/Andy Rain

Britain’s longest double-dip recession for more than 50 years will be confirmed in official figures out on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) – a broad measure for the total economy – is forecast to have shrunk by around 0.2% between April and June in its third straight quarter of contraction.

That would mark the longest double-dip recession since quarterly records began in 1955 and is believed to be the worst since the second world war.

The last double-dip recession was in the 1970s when the economy was hamstrung amid soaring oil prices and a miners’ strike, but that only lasted two quarters.

The latest decline is set to have been worsened by the extra bank holiday surrounding the Queen’s diamond jubilee and record rainfall in April and June.
Recent estimates from the Bank of England said the celebrations could wipe up to 0.5% from output, while its governor, Sir Mervyn King, has warned the special events including the jubilee and the Olympics will skew figures this year.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be a preliminary estimate and be subject to revision.

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