The UK economy contracted by 0.1% in March as surging inflation took a toll on demand, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The monthly figure compares to no growth in February and 0.7% growth in January. The figure for the first quarter of 2022 showed inflation of 0.8%, which was down from 1.3% in the previous three months.
The ONS data was released following the Bank of England’s warning last week that a recession now looms large as a result of the cost-of-living crisis gathering pace.
Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: ‘The economy barely kept its head above the water during a volatile start to the year, but times look set to get that bit tougher.
‘Cost pressures and rising prices have tightened their grip, with both businesses and households feeling the pinch. The end result is a weaker economic outlook.
‘It’s clear that the most vulnerable households and energy-intensive businesses may need further support, so the government should keep this under review.’
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