Yahoo News: LONDON (AFP) – The UK economy slumped unexpectedly in the fourth quarter of 2010, official data showed Tuesday, as freezing weather helped choke off the fragile recovery and sparked new recession fears. Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.5 percent in the three months to December, after expansion of 0.7 percent in the third quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.That was the first drop in economic output since the third quarter of 2009 and confounded expectations for 0.4-percent expansion.
The unexpected dive, which has ended one year of growth, re-ignited market concerns that Britain could be heading for another downturn as state austerity measures also take their toll, analysts said.
“The GDP figures today were shockingly bad, but heavily affected by the temporary effects of the snow in December on construction, retailing, transport and other services,” said John Hawksworth, economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Read more at Yahoo News.….