Inside business

The fall in GDP should be a big warning sign for the government

The government’s continuing lack of movement is quite staggering. More tiresome sabre-rattling over the Northern Ireland protocol won’t help people as the bills roll in, argues James Moore

Thursday 12 May 2022 21:30
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<p>GDP fell in March, according to the ONS, amid fears that 1.5 million UK households will struggle to pay food and energy bills </p>

GDP fell in March, according to the ONS, amid fears that 1.5 million UK households will struggle to pay food and energy bills

Winter in May? It does rather feel like it, given the way the UK economy is going.

The latest official figures – for March – were Leonard Cohen album-level grim. They showed a 0.1 per cent contraction against the flat zero the City had expected. There is probably worse to come. This economic frost is going to bite hard. The stock market doesn’t always react to this sort of release, partly because the FTSE 100 is a very international market, especially at the top end.

But it did this time, with the figure serving as another pointer to a potential global slowdown – as if there weren’t enough already out there. Investors were already rattled by the worse than expected core inflation numbers in the US, so dealing screens were dominated by red pixels.

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