Britain likely in recession

LONDON - THE Bank of England said on Wednesday that the British economy was probably already in recession as a global financial crisis takes its toll.

'The economy probably entered recession in the second half of 2008 and output is likely to contract further,' the central bank said in its latest quarterly report.

Britain's economy shrank 0.5 percent in the three months to Sept from the previous quarter, marking the first contraction since 1992, according to recent official data.

The economy had already shown flat performance in the second quarter with zero growth. However, Britain is not officially in recession unless it reports two quarters running of negative economic growth, or contraction.

The BoE statement implies that the central bank believes that the economy is contracting in the current fourth quarter, or three months to the end of Dec. -- AFP


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