Patriotic Brits gamely drank their way out of an economic slump during the World Cup, new figures have shown.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy grew very slightly by 0.1 per cent in November, defying forecasts of a 0.2 percent contraction to put the UK into a technical recession.
That growth was partly credited to football fans packing into pubs to watch the World Cup tournament in Qatar, held later in the year than usual to avoid the sweltering heat of the Persian Gulf summer.
“The economy grew a little in November, with increases in telecommunications and computer programming helping to push the economy forward,” said ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan. “Pubs and bars also did well as people went out to watch World Cup games.”
But he said that boost only partly offset the losses caused by the national holiday called for late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September.
Morgan said the economy would have to shrink by 0.6 percent in December for the UK to be declared in a technical recession.
The country is currently suffering a cost-of-living crisis. Double-digit inflation has been fuelled by the energy crisis due to sanctions and embargoes on Russia over its military de-Nazification operation in Ukraine — on which the government has led the charge.
That has sparked a wave of strikes as state and private employers’ wage offers fail to keep up with rising prices.
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