The UK has narrowly avoided a recession after the economy saw zero growth between October and November, new figures have suggested.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday that the economy had flatlined in the last three months of 2022.
Unrounded figures showed 0.01% growth.
A recession is typically defined as when the economy shrinks for two consecutive three-month periods.
The latest preliminary estimate means that the UK did not see two consecutive quarters of declining gross domestic product (GDP) – the technical definition of a recession.
ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “The economy contracted sharply in December meaning, overall, there was no growth in the economy over the last three months of 2022.
“In December public services were hit by fewer operations and GP visits, partly due to the impact of strikes, as well as notably lower school attendance.
“Meanwhile, the break in Premier League football for the World Cup and postal strikes also caused a slowdown.
“However, these falls were partially offset by a strong month for lawyers, growth in car sales and the cold snap increasing energy generation.”
The economy grew by 4% in 2022 as a whole. It fell by 0.5% in December.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt warned the UK was “not out the woods yet” after ONS data showed the economy narrowly avoided recession between October and December last year.
He said: “The fact the UK was the fastest growing economy in the G7 last year, as well as avoiding a recession, shows our economy is more resilient than many feared.
“However, we are not out the woods yet, particularly when it comes to inflation.
“If we stick to our plan to halve inflation this year, we can be confident of having amongst the best prospects for growth of anywhere in Europe.”