UK economy posts surprise growth in November: Official data

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Britain’s economy unexpectedly grew in November, official data showed Friday, but it is widely tipped to enter recession this year as the country faces a cost-of-living crisis.

Gross domestic product added just 0.1 percent in the month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement, aided by the services sector and despite widespread strikes.

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That followed expansion of 0.5 percent in October.

However, GDP shrank 0.3 percent in the three months to November compared with the three months to August.

“While the economy performed better than expected in November, the data can’t mask the underlining problems in the UK economy,” said economist Alpesh Paleja at the CBI business lobby.

“High inflation is severely impacting household budgets and businesses are facing intense cost pressures. As a result, consumer spending and investment plans are weakening.

“The question for the government now is not whether we will fall into recession, but how long and deep the recession will be.”

UK inflation currently stands at 10.7 percent, the highest for about 40 years, as a result of supply constraints caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the lifting of COVID-19 lockdowns and Brexit fallout, according to economists.

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