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UK economy slows to six-year low amid Brexit uncertainty | News

The UK economy has slowed to its weakest charge of expansion in six years amid mounting uncertainty over Britain’s forthcoming departure from the European Union, legitimate figures display

Data printed through the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Monday published the British economy grew through 1.four p.c throughout 2018, down from 1.eight p.c the yr earlier than, reflecting a slowdown throughout quite a few industries together with building and automotive production.

The determine indicates the UK’s lowest charge of annual expansion since 2012, which additionally witnessed 1.four p.c expansion, and its equivalent worst efficiency since 2009, when GDP gotten smaller through four.2 p.c within the wake of a world monetary downturn that noticed a lot of the sector’s banking machine introduced to its knees.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond stated the ONS knowledge marked a “solid performance” amid a present international slowdown, however conceded the UK economy was once being “overshadowed by the uncertainty” created through the UK’s ongoing Brexit conundrum.

“The sooner we can resolve that, the better, the quicker we can get back to more robust growth in the future,” Hammond informed UK broadcaster Sky News.

Brexit conundrum continues

According to the ONS knowledge, the British economy grew through a meagre zero.2 p.c right through the general quarter of 2018, down from the zero.6 p.c expansion registered within the previous 3 months, with trade funding proceeding to decline.

UK-based economics analysis consultancy Capital Economics stated “most of the blame” for the hunch can be put on Brexit, bringing up “more evidence that the uncertainty is prompting some activity to be postponed”.

“If there’s a silver lining from the mounting signs that the uncertainty caused by Brexit is holding back GDP growth, it’s that the economy could enjoy a decent rebound if a Brexit deal is agreed,” Capital Economics’ Chief UK Economist, Paul Dales, wrote in a analysis word printed on Monday.

“The economy could benefit from a release of pent up demand if a Brexit deal is agreed … In that case, GDP growth of 1.4 percent in 2018 could give way to 1.5 percent in 2019 and 2.2 percent in 2020,” Dales added.

The UK is due to go away the EU on March 29, virtually 3 years after just about 52 p.c of Britons voted to surrender the bloc right through a divisive referendum held in June 2016.

But British Prime Minister Theresa May is suffering to salvage her broadly criticised divorce deal, brokered after months of tortuous negotiations with EU opposite numbers, after it was once overwhelmingly rejected through British legislators remaining month.

Ongoing efforts through May to win concessions at the deal from fellow EU leaders have proved unsuccessful to this point, heightening hypothesis the UK may go out the 28-member bloc with out an settlement at the phrases of its departure.

No-deal departure warnings

Some economists have warned a so-called “no-deal” departure may have doubtlessly dire penalties for the UK economy, with the UK’s central financial institution caution GDP might shrink through up to 8 p.c and area costs cave in through round a 3rd in the sort of state of affairs.

The executive, for its section, forecasts a possible financial hunch of greater than 9 p.c within the tournament of a worst case state of affairs no-deal Brexit.

Some analysts have cautioned the projections are overly pessimistic, then again, mirroring arguments made through a number of high-profile eurosceptic British legislators who stay in favour of a blank wreck with Brussels.

Last week, the UK’s National Institute of Economic and Social Research stated that whilst financial expansion would hover close to 0 within the two years following a no-deal Brexit, Britain may steer clear of sliding into recession if inflation and salary expansion stayed in take a look at and policymakers spoke back with measures to strengthen the economy.

Amid the continuing uncertainty the British pound fell through greater than zero.five p.c towards the greenback on Monday, and was once monitoring fairly beneath $1.29 on the time of newsletter. 

Al Jazeera and information companies


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