April 21, 2024

Stocks rise as UK recession brings hope for interest rate cuts

Well the big news from today is that the UK economy fell into a recession at the end of 2023…

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday, gross domestic product (GDP) for October to December dropped to 0.3%, which was a sharper decline than economists were expecting, and the second quarterly fall in a row.

The economy was pushed into reverse thanks to higher inflation and interest rates hitting consumers’ spending. However, all major sectors contracted during the period.

It comes after a decrease of 0.1% in the previous quarter, between July and September 2023. A technical recession is defined as two consecutive falls in GDP.

Across the whole year, in 2023 GDP was estimated to have increased by 0.1% compared with 2022, while on a monthly basis, Britain ended the year with a 0.1% decline in December.

Liz McKewown, ONS director of economic statistics, said:

“Our initial estimate shows the UK economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2023. While it has now shrunk for two consecutive quarters, across 2023 as a whole the economy has been broadly flat.

“All the main sectors fell on the quarter, with manufacturing, construction and wholesale being the biggest drags on growth, partially offset by increases in hotels and rentals of vehicles and machinery.

“The latest data showed that health and education performed less well than initially estimated in both October and November. Early indications suggest they both contracted in December.

“Retail and wholesale were the biggest overall downwards pulls on the economy in December, partially offset by growth in computer programming and manufacturing.”

Read the full article here

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