UK fiscal watchdog sees Q4 GDP fall, 1.1 mln job cuts

LONDON Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:43am EST

LONDON Dec 5 (Reuters) - Britain's fiscal policy watchdog said on Wednesday that the economy would shrink in the fourth quarter of this year, and that more than one million jobs would be cut from the public sector by 2018 because of further spending cuts.

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility, which produces forecasts that underpin the government's economic policy, said gross domestic product would grow much more slowly than it forecast in March.

"We now expect a small fall in GDP in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by a gradual pick-up next year," the OBR said.

The watchdog said about 1.1 million general government jobs would be lost "reflecting the additional year of spending cuts pencilled in for 2017-18".

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