Friday, July 24, 2009
The U.K. economy shrank more than twice as much as economists forecast in the second quarter as a record annual slump in construction, banking and business services kept Britain mired in recession.
Gross domestic product contracted 0.8 percent from the first quarter, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. Economists predicted a 0.3 percent drop, according to the median of 32 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, the economy shrank 5.6 percent, the most since records began in 1955.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party trails the opposition Conservatives in polls less than a year before an election as the recession drives up unemployment. Bank of England policy maker Andrew Sentance said yesterday that the British economy may start to pick up in the second half of the year.
“It’s a very sizeable recession indeed,” said George Buckley, chief U.K. economist at Deutsche Bank AG in London. “I think we’ve seen the worst, but what will the post-recession environment look like? There is a risk in the medium term that growth will be weaker than we’re used to.”
This article was posted: Friday, July 24, 2009 at 3:03 am