The UK is currently in the midst of its longest ever recession, after figures showed that the economy contracted once again between July and September.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2009, confounding analysts' predictions of an increase of 0.2 per cent.
Now spanning six consecutive quarters – a first since the ONS started compiling GDP figures back in 1955 – the UK is currently experiencing its longest period in recession on record.
The economy has now been contracting since early 2008.
Output fell almost entirely across the board, with the industries of construction, distribution, hotels and catering, transport and storage, and business services and finance all recording a decline.
Government and other services recorded a very small increase in overall growth compared with the second quarter of the year.
The news will strike a blow to analysts and the Government, as both had expected a modest rise, as well as the Bank of England, which had hoped that its programme of quantitative easing would cajole the economy out of its malaise.
In the last 12 months, output in the UK has contracted by 5.2 per cent; production and construction have performed particularly poorly, registering falls of 10.4 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
As this is the preliminary estimate the situation could get better or worse, as the figure could be revised up or down in the near future.
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