HomeBussinessUK exits 'recession' with better-than-expected 0.6% GDP growth

UK exits ‘recession’ with better-than-expected 0.6% GDP growth


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Britain’s economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 0.6% in the first three months of 2024, ending the shallow recession it entered in the second half of last year, official figures showed on Friday.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a 0.4% expansion of gross domestic product in the January-to-March period, after GDP shrank by 0.3% in the final quarter of 2023.

Friday’s data from the Office for National Statistics will be welcome news for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, although the opposition Labour Party, which has a large lead in opinion polls, said Sunak and finance minister Jeremy Hunt were out of touch to think voters were feeling better off.

The Bank of England, which held interest rates at a 16-year high on Thursday, forecast quarterly growth of 0.4% for the first quarter of this year and a smaller 0.2% rise for the second quarter.

On a monthly basis, the economy grew by 0.4 % in March, faster than the 0.1% growth forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.

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