UK Economy Stalls Unexpectedly Amid Pay Strikes and Cost-of-Living Crisis

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The UK economy stalled unexpectedly in February due to more strikes and a cost-of-living crisis that has been eroding the value of wages, according to official data released on Thursday. The Office for National Statistics reported a zero-growth performance in February following a 0.4% expansion in January. The latest reading was worse than analyst expectations.

The director of economic statistics at the ONS, Darren Morgan, explained that public-sector strikes, including those by teachers, impacted output, while unseasonably mild weather led to declines in the use of electricity and gas. However, the construction sector picked up after a poor January, and retail saw a boost as many shops had a buoyant month.

Despite the cost-of-living crisis that has been causing inflation to remain above 10%, the government and Bank of England remain hopeful that the UK will dodge a recession this year. The UK's economy had rebounded in January after narrowly avoiding a recession in the last three months of 2022. The recent data shows that the country's economy is still facing significant challenges, but experts believe that the situation may improve in the coming months.

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