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Recession will hit the UK economy this year, warns European Commission

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The UK economy will fall into recession this year following two successive quarters of negative growth, the European Commission has predicted.

The commission – the executive branch of the EU – said UK gross domestic product would shrink by 0.2 per cent between July and September, and another 0.3 per cent during the final three months of the year.

That meets the definition of a recession as two successive quarters of negative growth.

It follows another UK recession warning from Paris-based think tank the OECD last week.


The UK’s economic performance over the second half of this year is worse than the euro area’s predicted average growth, which will be flat over the third quarter and edge up 0.1 per cent in the fourth.

The EC also downgraded the UK’s annual GDP growth this year, from 1.8 per cent to 1.1 per cent. This compares with a 1.3 per cent average for the euro zone.

Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner, said the economic outlook remains fragile, but added that a recent drop in the euro against the US dollar and a drop in oil prices are providing some relief.

But he said oil and food prices have risen to record highs, fuelling inflation and putting a hamper on growth this year.