Great Britain is out of recession

Great Britain emerged from recession with stronger-than-expected growth in the first quarter of 2024, official figures show.

Broad growth is observed in the sphere of services and car production, reported AFP.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.6% in the first three months of this year after two consecutive quarters of decline in the second half of 2023, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

In the second half of last year, the economy suffered two consecutive quarters of contraction, meeting the technical definition of a recession, due to higher inflation and a cost-of-living crisis.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, whose ruling Conservatives are trailing the main opposition Labor Party ahead of the general election, has made economic growth one of his top priorities.

"There is no doubt that it has been a difficult few years, but today's growth figures are evidence that the economy is fully recovering for the first time since the pandemic," said Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.

"We are growing this year and have the best outlook among the G-7 European countries for the next 6 years," he added.

The good news came a day after the Bank of England kept its key interest rate at a 16-year high but hinted at a summer cut as UK inflation cools further - and forecasts an exit from recession.

"After two-quarters of contraction, the UK economy returned to positive growth in the first three months of this year," said ONS Director of Economic Statistics Liz McKeown.

"The economy's strength showed in services, with retail, public transportation and freight, and health care all performing well. Automakers also had a good quarter. They were only slightly offset by another weak quarter in construction.", she added.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, GDP contracted by 0.3%, after contracting by 0.1% in the previous three months. /BGNES