UK economy flatlined with no growth in GDP in February as public sector sees strikes - ONS
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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown that the UK economy ‘flatlined’ in February with no growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to ONS data, strikes within the civil sector and low energy consumption offset growth in several areas such as construction.
It followed growth of 0.4 percent the previous month and news that the UK had avoided recession in the second half of 2022 with an actual growth of 0.1 percent in the final quarter of the year.
According to the ONS, the largest contributor to the negative growth in the services industry in February was education, which fell 1.7 percent, with teachers taking strike action throughout the month. Public administrations, which has also seen strikes, was the second largest contributor.
The independent economic forecaster Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) most recent projections said the UK economy will avoid recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. But it is still expected the economy will contract by 0.2 percent overall this year.
Watchdogs have warned that the UK will see the biggest drop in living standards since records began as a result.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt responded to the announcement saying: "The economic outlook is looking brighter than expected - GDP grew in the three months to February and we are set to avoid recession thanks to the steps we have taken through a massive package of cost of living support for families and radical reforms to boost the jobs market and business investment."