STORY: Britain's economy shrank in the three months to September at the start of what is likely to be a lengthy recession, underscoring the challenge for finance minister Jeremy Hunt as he prepares to raise taxes and cut spending next week.
Economic output shrank by 0.2% in the third quarter, less than the 0.5% contraction analysts had forecast in a Reuters poll, Friday's official data showed.
Responding to the data, Hunt repeated his warnings that tough decisions on tax and spending would be needed.
''There are going to be some very difficult choices. I've used the word eye-watering before, and that's the truth,'' said Hunt.