Monday, February 23, 2009
Economy contracted even more than feared
Economists said weak industrial production data is likely to trigger a downward revision to the initial estimate by the Office for National Statistics that gross domestic product fell by 1.5pc in the fourth quarter of 2008, the worst performance since the second quarter of 1980. At the time ONS had factored in a 3.9pc decline in production over the period, whereas figures released since then revealed a 4.5pc fall. That would have dragged GDP down further, resulting overall in a 1.6pc drop in GDP, economists said. The publication of the first revision on Wednesday will provide more details on which areas of the economy are being hit hardest, and could provide a better idea of the shape and scale of the recession going forward.