The recession has hit harder than expected in the first quarter resulting in the UK economy posting its sharpest decline in more than 50 years. The Office of National Statistics reported the economy slumped a downward revised figure of 2.40% in the first quarter. The first quarter drop narrowly edges out as the largest decline since the second quarter of 1958.

Economists had expected a smaller downward revision in the first-quarter gross domestic product data, originally predicting a contraction of -1.9% for the quarter and -4.1% for the year. Household expenditure dropped 1.3% in the first quarter, the biggest decline since 1980, and this is a large contributing factor to the drop in UK GDP.

The lower than expected gross domestic product results of the UK have the sterling's exchange rate at EUR1.1744 and USD1.6592.

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