UK economy grows in Q4, avoids recession – ONS

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LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) – Britain’s economy grew in the fourth quarter of last year, official data showed on Friday, confirming the country narrowly avoided falling into recession last year.

Economic output increased by 0.1% in the October-to-December period from the previous three months. The Office for National Statistics had previously said the economy showed no growth in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The International Monetary Fund said in January that Britain was on course to be the only Group of Seven major advanced economy that will shrink in 2023 although since then economic data has come in stronger than expected by analysts.

The ONS said business investment fell 0.2% in quarterly terms, compared with a first estimate of a 4.8% rise.

The ONS said changes to the way it calculates seasonal adjustments to the data were behind the big revision.

Finance minister Jeremy Hunt earlier this month announced new incentives designed to encourage companies to invest although the tax breaks were less generous than a previous scheme and came just as corporate tax is due to jump in April.

The ONS said British economic output in Q4 was 0.6% below its level of late 2019.

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