UK is back in recession, says OECD
Britain has plunged back into a recession, as the economy continued to shrink in the first three months of the year, according to a leading global authority.
By Emm Rowley10:57AM BST 29 Mar 2012
In a major blow for the Chancellor, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has calculated that the UK economy shrank in the first three months of the year.
Over the January to March period, economic output fell compared to the previous quarter, at an annual rate of -0.4pc, the Paris-based think-tank believes. That would imply quarter-on-quarter growth of -0.1pc. After three months of negative growth at the end of last year, that figure would signal that the UK has double-dipped back into a recession. The analysis, contained within the OECD's interim economic assessment, will pile pressure on George Osborne after official figures on Wednesday slashed the UK economy's growth profile over 2011.
The economy shrank by a bigger-than-thought 0.3pc in the last quarter of the year, the Office for National Statistics reported. That meant growth was just 0.7pc for the year as a whole.
The expectation among economists had generally been that despite the end of year slump, the UK would avoid a recession as the economy grew in the first three months of 2011. However Wednesday’s revisions to the fourth quarter numbers stoked fears that the UK failed to recover in the following quarter, which will be further fanned by the OECD’s figures.