UK Economy Will 'Get Worse Before It Gets Better', Jeremy Hunt Warns

Over the last three months as a whole the economy shrank, with falls seen across services and manufacturing.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.
Aaron Chown - PA Images via Getty Images

The UK economy will “get worse before it gets better”, chancellor Jeremy Hunt has warned.

He made the comments after fresh figures revealed the economy rebounded in October.

That followed a contraction in September when output was impacted by the bank holiday for the Queen’s funeral.

The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product grew by a bigger-than-expected 0.5 per cent between September and October in a bounce back from a 0.6 per cent contraction the previous month.

However, over the last three months as a whole the economy shrank, with falls across services and manufacturing.

Experts say the bigger picture is still one of a shrinking economy amid the cost-of-living crisis, with the UK set to suffer a prolonged recession.

“I think it’s a very challenging international picture,” the chancellor told Sky News.

“About a third of the world’s economies are predicted to be in recession, either this year or next.

“We’re no different in this country and truthfully, it is likely to get worse before it gets better, which makes it even more difficult when we have big public sector strikes going on at the moment.”

Hunt warned of a “tough road ahead” and said the government needs to “stay the course” by reducing inflation.

Labour said the figures showed Britain was “lagging behind” after the economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in the three months to October.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “Today’s numbers underline the failure of this Tory government to grow our economy, leaving us lagging behind on the global stage.

“These are challenging economic times, but there is a choice. We can continue down the road of managed decline, falling behind our competitors, or we can draw on bold thinking to propel us forward.”

Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics, said: “The economy bounced back in October, recovering from the impact of the additional bank holiday for the state funeral.

“In particular, car sales rebounded after a very poor September, while the health sector also saw a strong month, with GP appointments, A&E attendance and the Covid-19 autumn booster campaign all driving up the sector.

“Construction continued its strong trend over the last year and stands at its highest level on record, with new housebuilding driving growth this month.

“However, over the last three months as a whole the economy shrank, with falls seen across services and manufacturing.”


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