British economy contracted by 0.3% in October, warns ONS as UK ‘teetering on edge of recession’

Bank of England

British economy contracted by 0.3%, warns ONS as UK ‘teetering on edge of recession’

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Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 13/12/2023

- 07:24

Updated: 13/12/2023

- 08:37

The fall comes as a shock to the economy given the slight growth seen just one month prior

The British economy has contracted by 0.3 per cent according to official data by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Monthly GDP is estimated to have shown no growth in the last three months to October 2023 compared with the three months to July this year.

The fall comes as a shock to the economy given the slight growth of 0.2 per cent seen just one month before in September.

Speaking on Breakfast with Eamonn and Isabel, GB News’ Political Correspondent Olivia Utley warned the UK was “teetering on the edge of recession”.

WATCH HERE: UK 'teetering on the edge of a recession,' says Olivia Utley

She said: “What we’ve seen in the economy throughout this year is we’ve seen it rise just above zero or fall just below zero.

“We’re teetering on the edge of a recession, just stagnating constantly which is not what Rishi Sunak promised.

“Meanwhile, on some of those other pledges, we’ve seen NHS waiting lists grow to the highest they’ve ever been - over seven million people on waiting lists in England and Wales.

“Rishi Sunak asked the public to judge him on those five pledges. He doesn’t seem to be doing too well.”

Speaking on the latest figures, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said: “It is inevitable GDP will be subdued whilst interest rates are doing their job to bring down inflation.

“But the big reductions in business taxation announced in the Autumn Statement mean the economy is now well placed to start growing again.”

Andrew Bailey at a press conference

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey


Services output also fell by 0.2 per cent in October “driven by a fall in information and communication”.

According to the ONS data, this fall in information was seen as the main contributor to the fall in growth in GDP.

Production output also fell in October, albeit at a much steeper rate, dropping to 0.8 per cent and driven by declines in manufacturing.

The construction sector also fell by 0.5 per cent having shown a boost in growth of 0.4 per cent in September.

ONS data

​ONS data shows the economy fell by 0.3% in October


ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan, said: “Our initial estimates suggest that GDP growth was flat across the last three months.

“Increases in services, led by engineering, film production and education — which recovered from the impact of summer strikes — were offset by falls in both manufacturing and housebuilding.

“October, however, saw contractions across all three main sectors.

“Services were the biggest driver of the fall with drops in IT, legal firms and film production — which fell back after a couple of strong months.

“These were also compounded by widespread falls in manufacturing and construction, which fell partly due to the poor weather.”

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