List of recessions in the United Kingdom
This article needs to be updated.(May 2021)
This is a list of recessions (and depressions) that have affected the economy of the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. In the United Kingdom and all other[clarification needed] EU member states, a recession is generally defined as two successive quarters of negative economic growth, as measured by the seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter figures for real GDP.
|Name||Dates||Duration||Real GDP reduction||Causes||Other data|
|Great Slump||c. 1430 – c. 1490||c. 60 years|
|War of the Spanish Succession||1706||−15%||War of the Spanish Succession compounded by failure of harvest|
|The Great Frost||1709||3 months||−14%||Failure of harvest caused by the Great Frost|
|Crisis of 1772||1772||Great Bengal famine of 1770|
|Post-Napoleonic depression||1812–1821||c. 9 years||Post-Napoleonic Wars readjustment|
|1857–58 recession||1857–58||c. 1 year||c. 1%||Panic of 1857 (originating in America) as the first global economic crisis, confidence eroded by Palmerston government relaxing the provisions of the Peel Banking Act of 1844||Comparatively brief contraction of approximately 3.5% nominal GDP?|
|1867–1869 recession||1867–1869||c. 2 years||c. 1%||Impact on exports resulting from American recession post-American Civil War||1.9% fall in GDP|
|Long Depression||1873–1896||Periodic falls in real GDP over c. 20 years||Deflation but a large rise real GDP||Panic of 1873||Previously known as the "Great Depression". Real GDP rose over this period. Agricultural deflation hit farmers and their workers, although industrial output continued to grow.|
|1919–1926 depression||1919–1921||c. 3 years||The end of World War I||Deflation c. 10% in 1921, and c. 14% in 1922.|
|Great Depression||1930–31||c. 2 years||
||US Depression. Reducing demand for UK exports, also high interest rate defending the gold standard.||UK came off gold standard September 1931. 3–5% deflation pa. UK much less affected than US. Took 16 quarters for GDP to recover to that at start of recession after a 'double dip'.|
|1956 recession||1956 Q2
||Uncompetitive motor industry, inflationary pressures, credit squeeze caused by high bank rate, effects of the Suez crisis – oil embargo by NATO and other Arab countries.||Average inflation in 1956 totalled 4.9%. Interest rate held at 5.5%, an increase of 1.0% on the previous year.|
||Time lag from the 'Rolling Adjustment' recession in America and high bank rate.||Interest rates were hiked from 5.0% to 7.0% in July 1961, reducing to 6.5% in October 1961 and then to 6.0% from November 1961 onwards.|
||1973 oil crisis, stagflation, the decline of traditional British industries, inefficient production, high inflation caused industrial disputes over pay.||The economy surpassed its pre-recession peak by 1976 Q4, fourteen quarters after its beginning. There were two single-quarterly setbacks during the recovery (aside from the double-dip) in 1974 Q4 and 1976 Q2. Average inflation was 9.2% in 1973, 16.0% in 1974, 24.2% in 1975 and 16.5% in 1976. Interest rates fluctuated wildly during the recession with a low of 9.0% in March 1976 and a high of 15.0% in October 1976.|
|Early 1980s recession||
||Deflationary government policies including spending cuts, pursuance of monetarism to reduce inflation, switch from a manufacturing economy to a services economy.||Company earnings decline 35%. Unemployment rises from 5.3% of the working population in August 1979 to 11.9% in 1984. Took thirteen quarters for GDP to recover to its pre-recession peak at the end of 1979. Annual inflation was 18.0% in 1980, 11.9% in 1981, 8.6% in 1982 and 4.6% in 1983. Interest rates generally declined during the recession from a peak of 17.0% at the beginning of 1980 to a low of 9.6% in October 1982.|
|Early 1990s recession||
||US savings and loan crisis, high bank rate in response to rising inflation caused by the Lawson Boom and to maintain British membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism.||Company earnings decline 25%. Peak budget deficit c. 8% of GDP. Unemployment rises from 6.9% of the working population in 1990 to 10.7% in 1993. Took eleven quarters for GDP to recover to its pre-recession peak in the Spring of 1990. Annual inflation was 9.5% in 1990, 5.9% in 1991, 3.7% in 1992. and 1.6% in 1993. Interest rates were stubbornly high initially but declined from a high of 14.8% at the start of the recession to a low of 5.9% by the end of the recession, though interest rates were hiked twice during Black Wednesday.|
||Late 2000s financial crisis, rising global commodity prices, subprime mortgage crisis infiltrating the British banking sector, significant credit crunch.||The recession lasted for five quarters and was the deepest UK recession since the Second World War. Manufacturing output declined 7% by end 2008. It affected many sectors including banks and investment firms, with many well known and established businesses having to fold. The unemployment rate rose to 8.3% (2.68m people) in August 2011, the highest level since 1994. There was much speculation of a 'double dip' recession during the 2010s, but this proved not to be the case. However, the 2010s saw four separate periods of quarter-on-quarter fall in growth: 2010 Q4 (−0.4); 2011 Q4 (−0.1); 2012 Q2 (−0.5); and 2012 Q4 (−0.2).|
||Covid-19 Pandemic||Majority of the decrease in GDP occurred in March and April of 2020 and was followed by a sharp increase in June and July although GDP did not return to pre-pandemic levels until late 2021.|
- "Q&A: What is a recession?". BBC News. 8 July 2008.
- "Glossary of Treasury terms". HM Treasury. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- Inman, Phillip (7 May 2020). "War and the weather: what caused the huge economic slump of 1706?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "What happened in 1709? Why the UK economy slumped into a recession". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
- "Public Spending Chart for United Kingdom 1800–1830 – Central Government Local Authorities". ukpublicspending.co.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "Public Spending Chart for United Kingdom 1800–1900 – Central Government Local Authorities". ukpublicspending.co.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- Cain, P. J.; Hopkins, A. G. (2002). British Imperialism, 1688–2000. Longman. ISBN 9780582472860. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "Public Spending Chart for United Kingdom 1856–1859 – Central Government Local Authorities". ukpublicspending.co.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "Public Spending Chart for United Kingdom 1865–1868 – Central Government Local Authorities". ukpublicspending.co.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- D Smith, Sunday Times (UK) 9 November 2008
- "NIESR graph of 6 UK recessions" (PDF).
- "Bank of England February 2009 Quarterly inflation report" (PDF). Bank of England. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "Economy tracker: GDP". BBC News. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "Quarterly National Accounts – National accounts aggregates (ABMI Gross Domestic Product: chained volume measures: Seasonally adjusted £m, constant prices)". Office for National Statistics. 20 December 2013.
- "Economic policy and the motor recession". The Spectator. 12 July 1956. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- Love 1969, p. 651
- "A Review Of Past Recessions | Investopedia". investopedia.com. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "UK unemployment". Financial Tubes, 20 November 2008
- "CBI February 2009 Economic forecast" (PDF). Confederation of British Industry. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "UK GDP since 1955 | Business Rogers". The Guardian. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
|Wikinews has related news:|
- Office for National Statistics website
- ONS quarterly GDP growth
- UK National Income, Expenditure and Output
- Latest Bank of England inflation report (PDF sections)
- Bank of England February 2009 Quarterly inflation report - Much data, including (on p20) previous 3 UK recessions.
- "What is the difference between a recession and a depression?" Saul Eslake November 2008
- UK economy tracker BBC News - comparison of UK recessions - updated quarterly