U.K. GDP Slows in Fourth Quarter as Brexit Uncertainty Weighs

11 Feb 2019

U.K. GDP Slows in Fourth Quarter as Brexit Uncertainty Weighs

The British economy saw growth decelerate more than expected in the fourth quarter, as uncertainty over the U.K.’s pending departure from the European Union weighed.

In a report, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product expanded by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in the October to December period.

That was below forecasts for a 0.3% rise and compared to growth of 0.6% in the third quarter.

Year-over-year, UK economic growth expanded 1.3% in the fourth quarter, also below estimates for growth of 1.3%.

The British economy grew 1.6% in the third quarter.

“Two and a half years since the UK voted to leave the European Union, the country’s post-Brexit position remains far from clear,” James Smith, research director at Resolution Foundation, said. “As we approach ‘Brexit day’ on 29 March, politicians in all parties needs to recognize how much is at stake for family living standards and that how the country goes forward, not just where it is heading, matters for household incomes in the here and now.”

In a separate report, industrial production unexpectedly fell 0.5% in December from the prior month, while manufacturing production dropped 0.7%.

Analysts had expected gains of 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively.

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