Britain narrowly avoids recession with slight Q3 economic growth

The British economy avoided slipping to within parameters that define a recession, but just barely — showing a 0.3 percent growth in the most recent quarter, government statistics showed Monday.

Shoppers walk past retail stores on Oxford street in London, Great Britain. File Photo by Hugo Philipott/

Third quarter figures from the Office for National Statistics show the economy grew by 1 percent over the same quarter a year ago, the slowest pace since 2010. A government outlook had projected year-to-year growth of 1.3 percent.

Manufacturing and production were both flat for the quarter between July and October — but services grew 0.4 percent and construction 0.6 percent.

A recession is defined as two consecutive periods of economic decline. The British economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the second quarter.

The economy was somewhat volatile in the first half of this year when Britain was originally supposed to leave the European Union. Car production sank as some plants shut down in April.

British Chancellor Sajid Javid called growth figures “solid” — but economist Tej Parikh said narrowly avoiding a recession isn’t cause for celebration.

“The U.K. economy has been in stop-start mode all year, with growth punctuated by the various Brexit deadlines,” he said.

Britain’s ongoing efforts to finally leave the European Union are viewed as factors in the slowing economy. Before voters chose to leave in mid-2016, the ONS reported economic growth of more than 2 percent each year.

Britain is scheduled to leave the EU at the end of January, following a three-month extension granted last month.

ByNicholas Sakelaris