The UK economy has slumped to its longest double-dip recession for more than 50 years after shock figures revealed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the British economy shrank by a worse-than-expected 0.7% between April and June 2012.
Gross domestic product (GDP) fell, by much more than the 0.2% expected by forecasters, for the third quarter in a row.
The economy’s poor performance has been blamed on the extra bank holiday for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the good old British weather, with the wettest April to June period ever according to the Met office.
The ONS’s estimate for the UK economy may yet be revised but it does suggest that the UK is in the midst of the longest double-dip recession since the Second World War.
The last double-dip recession was in the 1970s, when the economy was hampered by rising oil prices, a 3 day working week and miner’s strikes.
The grim economic forecast puts further pressure on the UK coalition Government, who will face even more criticism about the austerity measures that appear to be choking any chance of economic recovery.
The UK economy is currently 0.3% smaller than when the coalition came to power in the second quarter of 2010.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said: “We all know the country has deep-rooted economic problems and these disappointing figures confirm that. We’re dealing with our debts at home and the debt crisis abroad. We’ve made progress over the last two years in cutting the deficit by 25% and businesses have created over 800,000 new jobs. But given what’s happening in the world we need a relentless focus on the economy and recent announcements on infrastructure and lending show that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
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