Belfast Telegraph

New figures 'show worst double-dip in 50 years'

By Peter Cripps

The UK's longest double-dip recession for more than 50 years will be confirmed in official figures due today.

Gross domestic product (GDP) - a broad measure for the total economy - is forecast to have shrunk by around 0.2% between April and June, in its third quarter in a row of contraction.

That would mark the longest double-dip recession since quarterly records began in 1955 and is believed to be the worst since the Second World War.

The latest decline is set to have been worsened by the extra bank holiday surrounding the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Recent estimates from the Bank of England said the celebrations could wipe up to 0.5% from output, while its governor Sir Mervyn King has warned the special events including the Jubilee and the Olympics will skew figures.

Today's figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be a preliminary estimate and be subject to revision.