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LONDON: The British economy contracted in the final quarter of 2012, a respected independent economic institute said yesterday, raising the possibility the country may be heading for a “triple dip” recession.
“Our monthly estimates of GDP suggest that output declined by 0.3 percent in the three months ending in December,” said the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).
The NIESR said fourth quarter drop in gross domestic product was in part due to doping of the results for July through September, when the British economy grew by 0.9 percent, due to the London Olympic Games.
The institute noted that advanced ticket sales for the Games were booked in the economic accounts in the third quarter “inflating the level of output in this quarter.”
NIESR said it expected Britain to post a 0.0 percent growth rate in 2012, down from 0.9 percent in 2011. The government forecasts a 0.1 percent contraction for 2012.
If confirmed by Britain’s Office for National Statistics, a fourth quarter 2012 GDP drop raises the possibility that the country may enter a triple dip recession.
A recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of declining output.
Britain sank into the first phase of a double dip recession in 2008 as a result of the devastating global financial crisis.