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With GDP Shrinking, UK Fears Triple Dip Recession

You thought the economic recovery in the United States was anemic? Try the United Kingdom.

The country learned today that their economy shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. This puts Britain on the precipice of what The Guardian says is an "unprecedented" tripple-dip recession. That is, its third recession in four years.

The Guardian explains:

"The figures were worse than expected and could put pressure on the government to consider a "plan B" that would stimulate demand.

"A fall in manufacturing output dragged down the economy, countering a small rise in construction between October and December, according to the Office for National Statistics. The economy achieved zero growth for the year as a whole.

"Sterling dived on the news, reflecting fears the UK will lose its AAA credit rating and status as a haven economy, though the stock market shrugged off the news, remaining at a four-year high."

One analyst told Reuters there were "no positive takeaways" from today's GDP report.

U.K. treasurer George Osborne didn't sugarcoat the severity of the numbers.

"We have a reminder today that Britain faces a very difficult economic situation, a reminder that last year was particularly difficult, that we face problems at home with the debts built up over many years and problems abroad with the Eurozone, where we export many of our products, deep in recession," he said according to The Daily Telegraph. "Now we can either run away from those problems or we can confront them and I'm determined to confront them so that we go on creating jobs for the people of this country."

The Telegraph adds that some in the opposition blamed austerity measures for the country's economic woes.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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