Economy shrinks again

GDP fell by 0.3% in the last three months of 2012, according to official figures released today. It could mean the start of another period of recession for the UK.

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First Minister: GDP 'disappointing - but not surprising'

Today's GDP figures are extremely disappointing - but not surprising. We have repeatedly warned the UK Government their austerity cuts were too deep, too fast. The Deputy Prime Minister is now in agreement with us. Their cuts to capital investment in major infrastructure projects is causing damage to our economy at a time when spending by households and businesses is too weak to offset cutbacks in UK Government spending.

– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister

Furthermore, the Chief Economist of the IMF has now advised the Chancellor to reconsider his plans. A new plan for growth and jobs should now be a major priority for the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.We are doing all we can within our powers to support and encourage business in Wales and our Programme for Government places jobs right at the heart of what we do.

What is GDP?

GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product, and it attempts to show the economic state of the country in a number.

It's a measure of how the economy has grown or contracted over a three month period.

The level of GDP is measured in three ways: the value of the goods and services produced by the economy, the value of goods and services purchased by households and the government, and the income generated in terms of profit and wages.

GDP figures expected

The latest GDP figures for the fourth quarter are expected to be published today.

Businesses are braced for signs of further recession, with the economy expected to contract by 0.3%.

The most notable slump is expected to be seen in manufacturing and construction sectors. The figures are likely to have an impact on the already struggling retail sector.

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