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Snow effect could tip Britain into triple-dip recession

Published on Jan 21, 2013 11:59 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - A wintry burst of weather hit businesses and travellers across Britain for a fourth day on Monday, threatening an unprecedented "triple-dip" recession that could knock the government's economic plans further off track.

Commuters fought to get to work, as airlines and train operators struggled to deal with a blanket of snow and ice, while some 3,000 schools were closed, forcing parents to stay at home to look after children.

Figures this week look set to show the British economy shrank again in the fourth quarter of last year. The snow-induced a loss of working days for manufacturers and builders, allied to falls in business for shops, pubs and restaurants, could now push the first quarter into the red also.

Even if the economy does turn around later, it would leave the government seeking to dispel fears of slow growth well into next year - with an election due the year after.

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