British Economy Stops Growing in Q2

Country on brink of recession analysts say

Britain's economy saw zero growth in the second quarter compared with the first three months of 2008, the Office for National Statistics showed on August 22, leaving the country on the brink of recession, analysts said. The new reading of 0.0% growth was the weakest quarterly rate since the second quarter of 1992.

Analysts said that the news left Britain on the verge of a technical recession -- which is defined as two or more quarters of negative economic growth. The ONS said that the sharp downgrade "follows downward revisions to the growth in output of the production, construction and services industries."

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.4% during the second quarter when compared with the year-earlier period.

"The second estimate of second-quarter UK GDP clearly increases the (already strong) chances that the economy will fall into recession over the coming quarters," said Capital Economics analyst Jonathan Loynes. "The economy now looks set to grow by just 1.2% or so this year, with a very strong chance of a technical recession in the second half. And things will be considerably worse in 2009."

In the first quarter of 2008, the British economy recorded quarterly expansion of 0.3% and an annual growth reading of 2.3%.

Prior to the second quarter of 2008, the country's economy had enjoyed 63 consecutive quarters of economic growth.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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