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4:48 am | August 29, 2023

UK economy avoids stagnation with 0.2% growth between April and June – as it happened

In a pleasant surprise for the economic landscape, the UK economy has defied expectations, achieving a growth of 0.2% during the period of April to June. Particularly astonishing was the swift momentum seen in June, where a remarkable surge of 0.5% growth was accomplished.

In a pleasant surprise for the economic landscape, the UK economy has defied expectations, achieving a growth of 0.2% during the period of April to June.

Recession Worries Persist Despite Positive GDP Data Release

Amid lingering concerns of a potential recession, the release of GDP data this morning provided a glimmer of hope. Contrary to worries, the UK economy exhibited a robust performance in the second quarter of the year, successfully outpacing the forecasted stagnation.

June: A Standout Month for Growth

Significantly, June emerged as a standout month, experiencing a boost of 0.5% in GDP, attributed to the revitalization of manufacturing and construction endeavors. A contributing factor was the increase in the number of working days compared to May, when activities were curtailed for the coronation.

Reflecting on the GDP report, Rishi Sunak expressed optimism, remarking, “I made fostering economic growth a primary objective at the start of the year, and we’re steadily making headway.” He added, “Though there’s still much to be done, the current figures indisputably demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategy.”

Despite this encouraging news, both the CEBR and Capital Economics have sounded cautionary notes, suggesting the UK may be at risk of slipping into a recession in the forthcoming quarters, primarily due to the impact of elevated interest rates on growth.

According to Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at OANDA, the UK economy found renewed vigor toward the close of the second quarter, partially thanks to improved weather conditions in June. This upturn in fortunes has been instrumental in safeguarding the economy from recession, as resilient consumer activity played a pivotal role.

Balancing Act: Growth Amid Challenges

While the growth of 0.5% from the previous month, contributing to the quarterly 0.2% growth, is undeniably noteworthy, it is acknowledged that the road ahead remains challenging. The economy must navigate substantial hurdles and pressures. Nevertheless, the prospect of inflation dipping below average earnings growth offers the potential to sustain consumer spending resilience.

Investors in the financial hub of the city apprehensively observed the stronger growth, concerned that it might prompt the Bank of England to persist with raising interest rates. This unease reverberated through London’s stock market, as the FTSE 100 index concluded the day with a dip of 94 points, or a 1.25% decrease, at 7524.

It is essential to note, however, that the Resolution Foundation emphasized a pertinent detail: the recent quarters witnessed the UK economy’s weakest growth in 65 years, excluding instances of recession.


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