January 23, 2009

Britain officially in deep recession

POLITICS - The British economy has officially sunk into recession, government statistics showed Friday, with output falling 1.5% in the fourth quarter of last year as the financial credit crisis ravaged banks, retail and manufacturing. Following the 0.6% decline recorded in the third quarter, Britain is now officially in recession – the standard definition of a recession is two quarters of economic shrinkage. A deep recession is any recession that has a combined bi-quarterly loss of 2% or more.

Britain joins the United States, Canada and several other countries now officially in a recession or depression. (A depression is any recession that lasts 2 years or more.)

Britain's economic slump is the biggest economic decline since the early days of Margaret Thatcher's government in 1980 and caused the British pound to slump to a new 23-1/2 year low against the U.S. dollar of $1.3503 and headed back towards parity against the Euro.

For 2008 as a whole, Britain's GDP rose by 0.7%, down on the 3% growth in 2007, and the lowest level of growth since 1992's 0.1%.

A sudden spike in suicide rates in Britain and North Ireland has caused the British government to set up free suicide prevention/stress related hotlines so people can talk about their woes.

In related news... Irish real-estate tycoon Patrick Rocca was found shot dead at his home in a suburb of Dublin in an apparent suicide.

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