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UK economy struggled before coronavirus crisis escalated

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk along the Southbank in view of skyscrapers in the financial district in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's economy was almost stagnant in the three months to February, before the coronavirus crisis escalated and pushed the country into what is likely to be a severe recession, official data showed on Thursday.

Gross domestic product rose by 0.1% in the December-February period, the Office for National Statistics said, weaker than a median forecast for growth of 0.2% in a Reuters poll of economists.

In February alone, GDP fell by 0.1% compared with a forecast for growth of 0.1% in the Reuters poll.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Catherine Evans)