The United Kingdom Gross Domestic Product was revised lower today and fell by the most in fifty years in the first quarter of 2009 according to a report by the Office of National Statistics. The U.K. real GDP data showed that quarterly GDP fell by 2.4 percent in the January through March quarter following a decline of 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. The GDP decline was worse than the previously reported estimates of a 1.9 percent contraction and marked the largest decrease since the 2.6 percent fall in the second quarter of 1958.
On an annual basis, the first quarter GDP fell by 4.9 percent from the level of the first quarter of 2008 and marked the largest annual decline since 1948 when records were first kept. The 2008 fourth quarter registered a decline of 2.0 percent. Today’s data surpassed economic forecasts which were expecting the quarterly GDP to decline by approximately 2.1 percent and the annual GDP rate to fall by 4.3 percent.
The British pound has felt the effects of the news and has fallen versus most of the major currencies in forex trading today. The pound, at time of writing, has declined by over 150 pips against the dollar, by 45 pips versus the euro and by almost 100 pips against the Japanese yen.
GBP/USD Chart – Pound Sterling falling in forex trading versus the US Dollar today and trading under the 100 hour moving average