“The latest data confirms the economy was flatlining even before the chaos caused by the Chancellor’s mini budget.
“August’s negative outturn should be followed by a more marked drop in September’s output as the extra bank holiday for the Queen’s funeral will have added to the downwards pressure on activity.
“The government has needlessly risked a longer recession with any boost from the energy package likely to be dwarfed by a sustained squeeze on UK output from persistently high inflation, punishing interest rate rises and acute financial market turbulence.
“The slump in sterling is a double-edged sword for firms trading overseas. While it may improve the competitiveness of some traders, most UK exporters are also importers and so face much higher input costs due to the weakening currency.”