Britain’s GDP fall sharpest in 51 years

Britain’s GDP suffered its greatest quarterly fall in 51 years in the first three months of 2009. The figure was revised down to 2.4% compared with the previsional estimate of 1.9% according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

GDP is 4.9% lower than it was in the first quarter of 2008, a revision from the 4.1% estimated decline in last month’s estimate.

A 6.9% quarterly decline in the construction sector and a 5.5% drop in manufacturing were largely attributed to the GDP decline.

According to a report from Capital Economics, the British national accounts and balance of payments figures for the first quarter underline the fact the economy is “built on very fragile foundations”.

It adds that the quarterly decline in GDP leaves “an extremely weak platform for growth this year”.

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