UK Economy Rebounds After Swerving Recession

Britain’s economy rebounded in January, official data showed Friday, after it narrowly avoided recession in the fourth quarter despite soaring inflation.

Gross domestic product grew 0.3 percent, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement, as the services sector offset a poor performance by construction and manufacturing.

GDP had dropped 0.5 percent in December amid widespread strikes as many workers protested over pay that has failed to keep pace with runaway inflation.

“The economy partially bounced back from the large fall seen in December,” said ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan.

“The main drivers of January’s growth were the return of children to classrooms, following unusually high absences in the run-up to Christmas, the Premier League (football) clubs returned to a full schedule after the end of the World Cup and private health providers also had a strong month.

“Postal services also partially recovered from the effects of December’s strikes.”

Britain dodged recession last year, but is forecast to contract throughout this year according to the Bank of England.

Output has been dogged by decades-high UK inflation, despite a recent easing, and hit also by rising BoE interest rates.

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