Economists had previously estimated that the economy would contract by roughly 0.2 percent; however the wettest April to June period on record combined with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations – which resulted in an extra days holiday – are said to have contributed to the bigger contraction.
It is the third successive period of contraction, after a 0.4 percent contraction in the final quarter of 2011 and a 0.3 percent contraction during the first quarter of this year; leaving the UK in its longest double-dip recession since 1975.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics are set to increase the pressure on the Chancellor George Osborne to ease his austerity measures and push for growth.
Yesterday, in a statement the Chancellor said that the deeper than expected contraction was disappointing, and he confirmed the country’s deep-rooted economic problems, before adding: “We're dealing with our debts at home and the debt crisis abroad. We've made progress over the last two years in cutting the deficit by 25 percent and businesses have created over 800,000 new jobs.
“But given what's happening in the world we need a relentless focus on the economy and recent announcements on infrastructure and lending show that's exactly what we're doing.”
The figures from the Office for National Statistics come a week after the International Monetary Fund called on the UK government to prepare a “plan B” to pump life into the economy.
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