List of recessions in the United Kingdom
This is a list of (recent) 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 recession||2020–present||Ongoing||COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, exacerbated by 2020 Russia–Saudi Arabia oil price war and international travel bans. Associated with the corporate debt bubble and coronavirus liquidity crisis.||Since 2017, a major global slowdown in growth has been taking place in many countries of the world, and several European governments have had economic crises. These measures began to be exacerbated in September 2019, when the US Federal Reserve had to provide funds in the repo market in an attempt to keep the economy afloat after the overnight lending rate spiked due to a liquidity issue; Thomas Cook Group would be liquidated at that time as well. The Federal Reserve's efforts began to fail in November 2019, when a novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China. The delayed responses of many governments around the world resulted in the virus spreading to every region of the world, with the virus outbreak being declared a pandemic in March 2020. Infection control measures have resulted in the closure of all nonessential businesses and a global restriction of public gatherings, resulting in major declines in the hospitality, retail and tourism industries. These measures, combined with the accumulation of too much corporate debt in the previous decade, resulted in a major stock market crash which caused the collapse of the corporate debt bubble.|
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- Love 1969, p. 651
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- "GDP monthly estimate, UK". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- "GDP quarterly national accounts, UK: April to June 2020". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
|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