Figures released in February by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the UK fell into a recession in the second half of 2023.

GDP fell by 0.3% in the last three months of 2023 – which was a sharper fall than economists were expecting.

This gave us two consecutive falls in GDP after a decrease of 0.1% in the three months before – between July and September 2023.

As a result the UK entered what is defined as “a technical recession”.

Industry group the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said February’s news suggested the UK was in “dire straits”, while the anti-poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation raised concerns for those already struggling with bills and food prices.

At the time, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “The big picture is that, actually, since then the economy has been more resilient, unemployment has stayed low, real wages have been rising now for six months.

“And if we stick to our guns now, we can see light at the end of the tunnel.”

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