The UK economy took an unexpected turn in the three months to September, as the latest GDP data, which measures the value of goods and services produced, show the UK economy flatlined, with no growth between July to September 2023.
This follows a 0.2% growth in the last quarter and 0.1% growth in August.
The figures released by the Office for National Statistics come a week after the Bank of England warned that the UK could face zero growth until 2025, but is likely to avoid a recession.
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Last week, the BoE froze interest rates for the second consecutive month following a pause in rates in September.
Analysts had predicted a 0.2% fall for the quarter and a flat reading for September.
The ONS reported 0.2% growth in the economy for the month of September, amid a boost from the film production, health and education industries.
The ONS also revised down growth in August to 0.1%, from 0.2%, and reported a 0.6% decline for July.
Economists said the manufacturing and construction sectors particularly helped to support growth over the end of the quarter.
ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “The economy is estimated to have shown no growth in the third quarter.
“Services dropped a little with falls in health, management consultancy and commercial property rentals.
“These were partially offset by growth in engineering, car sales and machinery leasing.”
Will the UK go into a recession?
As it stands, the UK seems to have dodged a recession for now.
Alice Haine, personal finance Analyst at Bestinvest says: “The dismal quarterly data will reignite fears that the UK economy might be heading into a recession - defined by two successive quarters of contraction – as higher interest rates weigh on demand in the run up to Christmas.”
Emma-Lou Montgomery, associate director for Personal Investing at Fidelity International also thinks recession isn’t off the cards just yet.
“Looking at the broader picture, it means GDP has shown no growth in the three months to September 2023 when compared with the three months to June 2023 - leaving Britain at risk of recession.
Huw Pill, chief economist at the Bank of England, said “in order to keep rising inflation at bay, the best medicine for the UK economy was to keep interest rates at their current level of 5.25%, this sense of déjà vu could rear its head again in the months to come. For rates to come down, next August is now the date to aim for”.
Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “We continue to think that the chances of a recession look low; we look for a 0.3% quarter-on-quarter increase in GDP in Q4 and expect that pace to be broadly maintained next year.”
Additional reporting by PA
Vaishali graduated in journalism from Leeds University and she has experience working with the likes of Leicester Mercury, Inews and The Week. She also comes from a marketing background, where she has done copywriting and content creation for businesses.
Currently writing about all things personal finance, Vaishali is passionate about finding the best deals around, whether it's the best credit cards or the cheapest personal loans, as well as sharing top money hacks to help people save and better manage their money.
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