The UK has officially entered another recession after figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found the UK economy shrank at the end of 2023.

The figures from ONS showed that the economy contracted by 0.3 per cent in the year's final three months.

Economists had been forecasting a 0.1 per cent decline in gross domestic product (GDP) between October and December.

Now, the 0.3 per cent dip means the UK has dipped into a technical recession, defined by two or more quarters in a row of falling GDP.

When was the last recession in the UK?

The UK last entered a recession in the first half  2020, when the initial Covid-19 lockdown sent the economy plunging into reverse.

The 2020 recession only lasted for six months, but there was a 20.4% fall in the UK economy from April to June of the same year, making it the largest fall on record. 

In 2008, the Great Recession rocked the world and the global financial crash was described as the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.

The 2008 recession was driven by the housing market crash in the USA before it hit the UK in late 2007. 

The next year, investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed marking the global economic crisis. 

In the UK, the recession lasted five quarters, making it the biggest of its kind since WWII. 


UK falls into recession after economy shrank again at the end of 2023

Manufacturing in the UK plummeted and unemployment rose to more than 2.6 million people.

What is a recession?

According to business magazine Forbes, a recession is "a significant decline in economic activity that lasts for months or even years.

Forbes added: "Experts declare a recession when a nation’s economy experiences negative gross domestic product (GDP), rising levels of unemployment, falling retail sales, and contracting measures of income and manufacturing for an extended period of time."