LONDON British workers received their biggest pay rise in a decade in the three months to October as the country's strong labor market showed no sign of weakening ahead of Brexit, official figures showed on Tuesday.
LONDON Britain's economy lost speed in the three months to October, reflecting lower car sales and factory stoppages due to weaker demand that business groups blamed on uncertainty about Brexit.
* UK GDP +0.4 pct 3m/3m in Oct vs Q3 +0.6 pct
* Factory output falls by most on year since March 2016
* Q3 trade revisions point towards weaker GDP growth
By David Milliken and Andy Bruce
LONDON, Dec 10 Britain's economy lost speed in
the three months to October, reflecting lower car sales and
factory stoppages due to weaker demand that business groups
blamed on uncertainty about Brexit.
Gross domestic product growth slowed to 0.4 percent, in line
with a Reuters poll of economists, from a strong 0.6 percent in
the third quarter of 2018.
Monday's data confirmed that the economy's strength over the
summer represented something of a blip, caused by a boost to
consumer spending from an unusually warm summer.
"The latest GDP data is further evidence that the drag
effect of persistent Brexit uncertainty and the significant cost
pressures faced by consumers and businesses is taking its toll
on the UK economy," Suren Thiru, head of economics at the
British Chambers of Commerce, said.
Markets showed little reaction to the data, with their focus
on whether Prime Minister Theresa May would go ahead with a
parliament vote on her preferred Brexit deal due on Tuesday,
which she looks likely to lose heavily.
The Office for National Statistics also highlighted a jump
in Britain's trade deficit for the three months to September
compared with previous figures, raising the prospect that
third-quarter growth relied more on the domestic economy than
More recent private-sector business surveys have suggested
the economy is slowing sharply in the face of uncertainty about
the terms on which Britain will leave the European Union. The
surveys have shown that fourth-quarter economic growth could be
as weak as 0.1 percent.
If May loses Tuesday's vote, the options for Brexit range
from Britain facing major customs barriers when it leaves the EU
in March to fresh national elections or a second referendum on
leaving the EU.
Monday's data do not give updated details of business
investment, which fell sharply in the three months to September.
Britain's economy has slowed since the June 2016 Brexit
vote, its annual growth rate slipping from top spot among the
Group of Seven group of rich nations to vying with Japan and
Italy for bottom place in the rankings.
The slower GDP growth in Monday's data reflected a hit to
the services sector from lower car sales, volatile
pharmaceuticals production and reports of factory stoppages due
to a lack of demand.
Year-on-year economic growth in October held at September's
1.5 percent, against expectations of a slight pick-up, while in
October alone GDP rose by 0.1 percent as expected
Factory output recorded its largest fall since March 2016,
down 1.0 percent on the year.
Britain's goods trade deficit in October was bigger than
expected at 11.8 billion pounds ($15.0 billion), and its total
deficit for goods and services for the three months to September
was revised up to 9.8 billion pounds from 2.9 billion pounds.
The ONS said this revision was likely to erase the 0.8
percentage point positive contribution which net trade would
have made to third-quarter GDP growth. The initial estimate of
GDP was made primarily by looking at output components of GDP,
so the revision did not necessarily imply revised growth would
be weaker but did suggest trade played less of a role.
Revised GDP data are due on Dec. 21.
($1 = 0.7857 pounds)
(Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)
LONDON Bank of England Governor Mark Carney hit back at critics of the central bank's warnings of a potentially big Brexit hit to the economy, denying allegations of scare-mongering made by some lawmakers who oppose Prime Minister Theresa May's plans. | Video
LONDON British house price growth picked up slightly this month from October's five-year low, but the future outlook remains depressed by an uncertain economy and a squeeze on household budgets, major mortgage lender Nationwide said on Friday.
LONDON, Nov 30 British house price growth picked
up slightly this month from October's five-year low, but the
future outlook remains depressed by an uncertain economy and a
squeeze on household budgets, major mortgage lender Nationwide
said on Friday.
LONDON Britain risks suffering an even bigger hit to its economy than during the global financial crisis 10 years ago if it leaves the European Union in a worst-case Brexit scenario in four months' time, the Bank of England said on Wednesday. | Video
LONDON All seven British banks and building societies in this year's Bank of England stress test passed, indicating they could withstand a disorderly Brexit without having to curb lending.
LONDON Britain risks a bigger hit to its economy than during the global financial crisis a decade ago if it leaves the European Union in a "disorderly" manner in March next year, the Bank of England warned on Wednesday.
LONDON Leaving the European Union without a transition deal would cost Britain tens of billions of pounds, and failure to support Prime Minister Theresa May's preferred plan could jeopardise Brexit altogether, Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Wednesday.