UK skirts recession with zero fourth-quarter growth

LONDON, United Kingdom – Britain’s economy narrowly avoided recession after flatlining in the last three months of 2022, despite soaring inflation, official data showed Friday.

Gross domestic product registered zero growth in the fourth quarter, in line with expectations after shrinking 0.3 percent in the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

The economy expanded by 4.1 percent last year overall, shrugging off decades-high inflation, after growth of 7.4 percent in 2021, the ONS added.

Finance minister Jeremy Hunt welcomed news that Britain was “avoiding a recession” but warned over sky-high consumer prices that have sparked a cost-of-living crisis and widespread industrial action.

“We are not out the woods yet, particularly when it comes to inflation,” Hunt said, but also noted that “our economy is more resilient than many feared”.

The technical definition of a recession is two successive quarters of negative growth. – AFP / pic TMR File