Pound euro exchange rate steady as Brexit uncertainty hits United Kingdom economic growth

UK economy stalls ahead of general election

UK Economy Stalls in October, Sees Weak Start to Final Quarter

From August to October, manufacturing fell 0.7% and construction by 0.3%. Growth was also flat across the three months to October.

Figures showed the services sector was the only positive contributor to GDP growth in the three months to October, rising by 0.2 percent.

Services, which make up about three quarters of the United Kingdom economy, expanded by 0.2% but manufacturing, construction and agriculture all shrank.

A spokesman at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) comments on today's report: "The UK economy saw no growth in the latest three months". There were increases across the services sector, offset by falls in manufacturing with factories continuing the weak performance seen since April.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at consultancy PwC, blamed Brexit-related uncertainty for the economy's "loss of momentum". "Nonetheless, if the general election yields a majority in the Commons either to ratify the PM's existing deal or to change course to a much softer form of Brexit or none at all, then the subsequent recovery in business and consumer confidence likely would enable the economy to regain some momentum", says Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Gross domestic product rose by 0.7% compared with October 2018, the weakest growth since March 2012, when Britain was still trying to shake off the effects of the global financial crisis.

John McDonnell, the Labor Party's shadow chancellor, blamed the economic woes on uncertainty over the European Union exit and the Conservative Party's government policies.

The ruling Conservatives have said the only way to revive the economy and move the country forward is to finish the implementation of Brexit, which they accuse opposition parties of stymieing.

Separately, the ONS released trade data which showed Britain's goods trade deficit widened by more than expected to almost £14.5bn in October from £11.5bn in September. Markets are now waiting to hear if on December 15, he will go ahead and impose tariffs on all of China's remaining annual exports to the U.S. That would deal the global economy another blow.

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