Britain's economy shows no growth in the fourth quarter

UK economy Brexit

The gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter was the same as the previous period, official data showed, which led to the 2019 increase to 1.4 percent, said the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The stagnation in the fourth quarter compares with a 0.5 per cent rise in the period before.

In December alone, the economy expanded by 0.3 percent. In the fourth quarter as a whole, this was enough to keep output flat, although the underlying trend was still for a loss of momentum in the autumn after a stronger performance in the summer.

"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", Kent-Smith said. Manufacturing output fell in the October-December period by the most since the third quarter of 2013, down 2.5 per cent from the same period a year earlier, reflecting vehicle plant shutdowns in November, when Britain faced the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

There was a slight pick-up in December, as the economy grew by 0.3 per cent in the month of the election itself.

Brexit was originally scheduled for March 2019, but then it was delayed until October and then again until January of this year. Growth in services slowed down to 0.1%.

"There's little to celebrate in this data but the fact that December's growth managed to negate the fall of November will provide a certain lift to markets".

"With Brexit uncertainty reaching fever pitch, the political goalposts were changing by the day throughout 2019 and to read too much into output during the year could be erroneous".

Senior economist at Capital Economics Ruth Gregory said the flat growth in the final three months of previous year would "prove to be a low point".

These were the details of the news United Kingdom economy stalls in fourth quarter of 2019 for this day.

Chris Towner, director at Chatham Financial, said the first December General Election in generations had "repressed household spending and business investment" in the quarter.

But Chancellor Sajid Javid said: "We have broken the deadlock and left the European Union; now we have to seize this moment to level up and prepare our great nation for long-term success".

The pound edged higher against both the euro and dollar on the back of the figures as traders bet that the Bank of England now had even less incentive to cut interest rates.



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