GDP down 2.4% – a 50-year record

Britain’s first quarter domestic product had been expected to be revised lower, following the release by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) of much gloomier numbers for construction output. But the scale of the downward revision, from a drop of 1.9% to one of 2.4%, the worst since 1958, was a surpise, reflecting also service-sector weakness.

The drop in GDP between the first quarters of 2008 and 2009 is now put at 4.9%, a record, and the official figures confirm that the recession began in the second quarter of 2008. All in all, a bad set of figures. They could be a “kitchen sink” set of numbers – everything bad thrown in – and they should certainly mark the worst we’ll see, if not for another 50 years. Do you go from a 2.4% first quarter fall to a flat second quarter? It’s possible, though perhaps a statistical stretch too far. More details here.

Originally published at David Smith’s EconomicsUK and reproduced here with the author’s permission.