Top – UK economic growth slowest since 2012

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The UK financial system expanded at its slowest annual price in six years in 2018 after a pointy contraction in December.

Progress within the yr was 1.4%, down from 1.8% in 2017 and the bottom since 2012, the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) mentioned.

It blamed slower manufacturing unit output and automobile manufacturing for the slowdown, amongst different components.

It follows forecasts of slower development in 2019 attributable to Brexit uncertainty and a weaker international financial system.

In response to the ONS, quarterly development additionally slowed, falling to 0.2% within the three months to December – down from 0.6% within the three months to September.

Head of GDP on the ONS, Rob Kent-Smith mentioned: “GDP slowed within the final three months of the yr with the manufacturing of vehicles and metal merchandise seeing steep falls and building additionally declining.

“Nonetheless, companies continued to develop with the well being sector, administration consultants and IT all doing nicely.”

The ONS mentioned the figures mirrored a slowdown throughout quite a lot of industries, as Brexit-related considerations weighed on enterprise spending selections.

Within the closing quarter of final yr, it discovered automobile manufacturing declined at its steepest price in slightly below a decade, slipping 4.9%.

Building fell 0.3% whereas enterprise funding dropped 1.4%.

Britain’s dominant companies sector expanded, nonetheless, though development slowed to 0.4% following a powerful efficiency in the course of the summer season.

Tej Parikh, senior economist on the Institute of Administrators, mentioned: “The continuing uncertainty round what occurs after 29 March is the prime suspect behind sapped financial exercise.

“There may be at the moment a drag on development as some companies are pressured to carry again on main investments and have interaction in cautionary stockpiling.

“The primary half of 2019 will deliver additional challenges for the UK financial system. China’s slowdown and weak development in Europe are more likely to chunk at British exporters.”

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