The coldest March in 50 years may have tipped the ailing U.K. economy into a third recession since the financial crisis, a result that will increase the pressure on the government to relax its policy of austerity.
Most economists expect the world's sixth-largest economy to narrowly avoid a second consecutive quarter of contraction when the first estimate of first-quarter output is released on Thursday. But the chances of a surprise are high.
The U.K.'s gross domestic product fell by 0.3% in the final quarter of 2012. A triple-dip recession would be unprecedented, and pile pressure on finance minister George Osborne to spread the pain of government spending cuts over a longer period of time.
UBS economist Amit Kara said he expected U.K. GDP to show zero growth, but cautioned that the cold weather could spring a shock and send the economy into reverse again.Note: this was not Britain's coldest March in a decade. It was not the coldest March since 2000 when it was predicted that children would no longer see snow. It was not even the coldest March in 25 years.
It was the COLDEST MARCH in FIFTY (50) YEARS.
And it may have pushed the island nation into a recession. If so, this would be unprecedented. A triple-dip recession, the report says, would be unprecedented.
And so it goes.
The coldest March in Great Britain in 50 years. In 1984, the Iron Lady announced plans to start closing coal mines. Almost 30 years ago. Takes awhile to reverse a trend, I guess.