UK economy flatlines, hit by Brexit and global slowdown
UK economy flatlines, hit by Brexit and global slowdown
UK economic growth slowest in nearly seven years
11 December, 2019, 00:14
The economy also showed no change in monthly terms, the ONS said, weaker than a median forecast of 0.1% growth in the poll.
The hardest-hit sectors were manufacturing and housing construction.
Services, which make up about three quarters of the United Kingdom economy, expanded by 0.2% but manufacturing, construction and agriculture all shrank.
The rolling average of GDP growth during August, September and October was 0.0 percent, as was the October stand-alone figure, according to a report released by the Office for National Statistics - revealing an economy that barely avoided qualifying as a recession in the lead-up to the parliamentary elections.
Commenting on the data, John Hawksworth PwC's chief economist placed the blame on continued Brexit uncertainty which led to a "loss of momentum" in the economy: "Growth seems likely to remain subdued through the rest of 2019, but we would hope for a gradual revival in activity over the course of 2020 if current political and economic uncertainties ease". Output in both the production and construction sectors contracted, by 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively. The ONS also said industrial output fell by 0.7% in the three months to October while Britain's services grew by 0.2%, the weakest increase since June.
The lackluster three-month GDP performance followed third quarter growth figures of only 0.3 percent, while year-over-year growth slowed to 0.7 percent in October - the lowest rate of GDP growth since March 2012.
Consensus has envisaged GDP growth of 1.3% for 2019 overall throughout the year, although that now looks to be an ambitious target because the economy would have to grow 0.5% in the final quarter in order to achieve it and Tuesday's numbers mean that's unlikely.
The economy has been buffeted by both domestic and global headwinds in recent months while Tuesday's figures come just days out from the third general election in five years, the outcome of which could leave a mark on the economy for a while to come.
President Donald Trump's trade war with China has badly wounded the global manufacturing sector and driven a broad slowdown in worldwide trade.
Experts blamed Brexit, and said it might push the Bank of England to cut interest rates.
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