You are here: Home » International » News » Economy
Business Standard

UK economy stalls in fourth quarter of 2019 as manufacturing shrinks

Britain finally departed the European Union on January 31 after Prime Minister Boris Johnson in December led the Conservative party to victory in national polls

AFP | PTI  |  London 

UK economy, Brexit
Shoppers walk along Oxford Street in London, Britain

Britain's saw zero growth in the final quarter of last year as manufacturing shrank heading into the country's general election that unlocked Brexit, official data showed Tuesday.

"There was no growth in the last quarter of 2019 as increases in the services and construction sectors were offset by another poor showing from manufacturing, particularly the motor industry," said Rob Kent-Smith at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

UK manufacturing contracted 0.8 percent in the October-December period, the ONS said.

Britain finally departed the European Union on January 31 after Prime Minister Boris Johnson in December led the Conservative party to victory in national polls.

"We've broken the deadlock and left the EU -- now we need to seize this moment to level up and prepare our great nation for long-term success," finance minister Sajid Javid said in a statement Tuesday following release of the growth data.

"In my budget, exactly one month from today, I'll set out how we will move forward, with more ambition and new thinking, and empower our people and businesses so everyone has the opportunity to thrive," Chancellor of the Exchequer Javid said.

On the eve of however, the Bank of England slashed its UK economic growth forecasts for this year and next, as the country faces tough negotiations with the EU on striking a new trade deal.

The British would expand by only 0.8 percent this year, the BoE said last month, down sharply on its previous 1.2-percent forecast.

In 2021, gross domestic product was expected to grow 1.4 percent, down on the central bank's estimate of 1.7 percent given in November.

The ONS on Tuesday added that the grew by 1.4 percent last year, up from 1.3 percent in 2018.

It expanded 0.5 percent in the third quarter of 2019.

First Published: Tue, February 11 2020. 16:12 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU