UK economic growth slowest since 2012
The UK economic system expanded at its slowest annual fee in six years in 2018 after a pointy contraction in December.
Growth within the 12 months was once 1.four%, down from 1.eight% in 2017 and the bottom since 2012, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated.
It blamed slower manufacturing unit output and automotive manufacturing for the slowdown, amongst different elements.
It follows forecasts of slower growth in 2019 because of Brexit uncertainty and a weaker world economic system.
According to the ONS, quarterly growth additionally slowed, falling to zero.2% within the 3 months to December – down from zero.6% within the 3 months to September.
Head of GDP on the ONS, Rob Kent-Smith stated: “GDP slowed within the final 3 months of the 12 months with the producing of automobiles and metal merchandise seeing steep falls and building additionally declining.
“However, services and products endured to develop with the well being sector, control specialists and IT all doing neatly.”
The ONS stated the figures mirrored a slowdown throughout plenty of industries, as Brexit-related issues weighed on industry spending selections.
In the general quarter of final 12 months, it discovered automotive production declined at its steepest fee in just below a decade, slipping four.nine%.
Construction fell zero.three% whilst industry funding dropped 1.four%.
Britain’s dominant services and products sector expanded, alternatively, even supposing growth slowed to zero.four% following a robust efficiency right through the summer season.
Tej Parikh, senior economist on the Institute of Directors, stated: “The ongoing uncertainty round what occurs after 29 March is the high suspect at the back of sapped economic task.
“There is lately a drag on growth as some companies are compelled to carry again on main investments and interact in cautionary stockpiling.
“The first part of 2019 will convey additional demanding situations for the UK economic system. China’s slowdown and vulnerable growth in Europe are prone to chew at British exporters.”