BRITAIN’S economy is slowing up as Brexit uncertainty alarms business, latest official figures reveal.
The Office for National Statistics said GDP grew at just 0.3 per cent in the three months to November, its slowest pace in six months.
Analysts blamed a “steep decline” in manufacturing activity and weaker consumer demand for cars and declining diesel sales. Growth of 0.4 per cent was recorded in the three months to October.
The ONS said the largest downward drag came from a fall in motor vehicle production of 4.3 per cent. The manufacturing sector has been hit by factory shutdowns – such as at Jaguar Land Rover – and weaker consumer demand for cars and declining diesel sales.
Head of national accounts at the ONS Rob Kent-Smith said: “Growth in the UK economy continued to slow in the three months to November 2018 after performing more strongly through the middle of the year.
“Accountancy and house-building again grew but a number of other areas were sluggish. Manufacturing saw a steep decline, with car production and the often-erratic pharmaceutical industry both performing poorly.”
The Sun Says
OUR economy may be slowing a little . . . but the eurozone is in meltdown.
Germany, its powerhouse, is close to recession. Italy is almost certainly there already. France is struggling. The EU is crumbling economically and politically.
Yet Remainers choose THIS moment to fight a rearguard action to stay in it.
On a rolling three-month basis, the manufacturing sector contracted by 0.8% and month on month it fell 0.3 per cent. Industrial production as a whole contracted 0.8 per cent in the three months to November amid a global slowdown, as the US and China hammer out a new trade deal.
Month on month, the UK economy grew by 0.2 per cent in November, compared with growth of 0.1 per cent in October. The lacklustre figures come as Prime Minister Theresa May again attempts to gain parliamentary approval for her Brexit deal.
Mike Jakeman, senior economist at PwC, said: “The latest monthly GDP data adds to existing impressions that the economy is slowing as uncertainty over Brexit intensifies.
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“The clear loss of momentum in the UK economy since the summer is as expected, given the ongoing lack of clarity on Brexit. For as long as this remains unclear, businesses will continue to defer major investment plans and households will reconsider making big-ticket purchases.”
Month on month, construction grew 0.6% in November. Manufacturing contracted 0.3%, while services activity rose 0.3%.
Separately, the ONS data dump also showed that Britain’s total trade deficit narrowed by £200 million to £7.9 billion in the three months to November 2018 as both goods and services exports increased £100 million more than their respective imports.
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