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The key economic graphs that define 2023 | Business News

How to sum up a year like 2023?

Perhaps the best thing to say is that it was considerably less exciting – as far as the economics went – than 2022.

And that’s probably no bad thing, because in 2022 much of what passed for excitement was extremely painful: the onset of a cost of living crisis which caused the biggest fall in British standards of living in modern record, a financial meltdown in the wake of Liz Truss‘s mini-budget.

The plan, when Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt came into office, was always to make the economy boring again, and to some extent they succeeded.

Most obviously, while the government’s cost of borrowing did later rise to above the Truss era levels, it was largely down to higher inflation expectations and not to fears over the credibility of UK government policy.

This time last year, most people assumed – present company included – that 2023 would be a year of recession for the UK.

And for much of the year that’s precisely what it looked like.

France and Germany both tipped into technical recession (the definition of which is that you suffer two successive quarters of economic contraction). The UK was expected to do likewise.

Economic growth

UK CPI inflation slide 2

But somehow, it never happened.

At least, not quite.

Instead, the economy more or less flatlined for most of the year – though figures published by the Office for National Statistics just before Christmas showed the economy contracted slightly, by 0.1% in the third quarter.

Either way, this can hardly be held up as a positive result. Normally you’d expect the UK’s gross domestic product to grow by around 2-2.5% each year.

However, a negligible amount of economic growth is more than most expected this year – even if (see below) it was helped by a colossal increase in migration.

Technically, this meant the prime minister met one of his much-publicised pledges he made to the country at the start of the year – to grow the economy.

As you can see from the chart, this isn’t much…

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This notice was published: 2023-12-27 10:11:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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