August 9, 2019 / 9:26 AM / 13 days ago

Fundamentals of UK economy strong, Javid says after second quarter contraction

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister Sajid Javid said the fundamentals of the UK economy were strong after figures showed it had contracted in the second quarter, but he said it was a challenging period for the global economy as a whole.

Gross domestic product fell at a quarterly rate of 0.2% in the three months to June, an unexpectedly severe hangover from a pre-Brexit stockpiling boost in early 2019.

“This is a challenging period across the global economy, with growth slowing in many countries. But the fundamentals of the British economy are strong – wages are growing, employment is at a record high and we’re forecast to grow faster than Germany, Italy and Japan this year,” Javid said in a statement.

“The government is determined to provide certainty to people and businesses on Brexit – that’s why we are clear that the UK is leaving the EU on October 31.”

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Kate Holton

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