Britain’s economy shrank even more abruptly than expected in the last three months of 2008.
The Office for National Statistics’ GDP said the economy contracted by 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the worst decline since 1980. Construction output was revised sharply lower and firms ran down stocks at a record pace. The pound slipped after the figures were released. They reinforced fears that Britain will be one of the economies hardest hit by the global downturn.