(Bloomberg) -- The wave of industrial action that hit the UK economy in the final quarter of last year shaved about 0.2% off economic output, according to research by Bloomberg Economics, putting the cost of the strikes at £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion). 

Bloomberg Economics is forecasting that the UK economy will shrink by 0.2% in the first quarter after a 0.3% contraction in the previous three months. 

With almost half a million teachers, civil servants and transport workers set to walk out on Wednesday in the most severe disruptions yet, the UK could suffer a bigger contraction, Senior UK Economist Dan Hanson said in a note. 

But it still barely registers when compared to the labor conflicts of previous generations. 

“The macroeconomic impact of the strikes has been small and will likely remain so,” Hanson said. “A return to the 1970s this is not.”

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