UK fell into recession at the end of 2023

15 Feb 2024

The UK economy fell into recession during the final three months of last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

GDP dropped by 0.3% during the fourth quarter of 2023, which was a sharper fall than expected. That follows a 0.1% fall between July and September.

The UK is considered to be in recession if GDP falls for two successive three-month periods - or quarters.

The figure for the final three months of last year was worse than a 0.1% fall widely forecast by financial markets and economists.

According to the ONS, there a slowdown in all the main sectors it measures to determine the health of the economy, including construction and manufacturing.

Alex Veitch, Director of Policy and Insight at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: 'Businesses were already under no illusion about the difficulties they face, and this news will no doubt ring alarm bells for Government. 

'The BCC's last Quarterly Economic Forecast suggests annual growth below 1.0% for the next two years as firms remained gripped by uncertainty and the twin perils of high inflation and interest rates remain.?? 

'The Chancellor must use his Budget in just under three weeks' time to set out a clear pathway for firms and the economy to grow. 

'Businesses are crying out for a long-term economic plan that reduces the cost pressures they are facing and unlocks the investment they so sorely need.'