The economy shrank by 0.4%

The British economy shrank by 0.4 % in the third quarter, according to new statistics. The recession has now lasted for six quarters—making it the longest since the Second World War.

From a peak in the first quarter of 2008, the economy has now contracted by 5.9%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The economies of France, Germany and Japan started growing again in the second quarter.

The Bank of England had expected a 0.1% growth in the third quarter.

The decline in growth was due in part to a 0.7% contraction in industrial production and an additional 0.2% drop in services output, reported the ONS.

In a financial times report the chancellor, Alistair Darling, said: “We’re facing the worst global financial crisis and recession in 60 years. We’ve always said that we remain cautious as a result of the high degree of economic uncertainty.”