The recession that currently grips the UK economy has been found to be deeper than initially feared as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) downgraded its forecast for the first quarter of 2012.
Following the 0.3% contraction in output recorded during the final three months of last year, it was thought the economy slipped by a further 0.2% in Q1 2012. However the second estimate of GDP growth, published yesterday by the ONS, found that output instead decreased by 0.3% as businesses and consumers continued to struggle with the adverse conditions.
The downward revision was largely fuelled by a worse-than-expected decline in the construction sector, which remains hard-hit by the prolonged downturn. Similarly, deteriorating events in the Eurozone have drained confidence from the markets, prompting Labour to launch another stinging attack on the coalition government.
And with the extra bank holiday scheduled for June to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it is thought it could be autumn by the time the country emerges from a second recession in only three years.