UK economy failed to grow over the August-October period, reports the Office for National Statistics in its latest growth report
- Latest: No growth in October
- Economy also stagnated over the last quarter
- Services growth slows; factories and construction contract
- Expert: Brexit uncertainty blights economy
Britain’s trade in goods deficit has widened too — as imports continue to grow faster than exports.
The goods deficit with the EU has widened by £3.5bn to £25.0bn in the last three months, while with non-EU countries it widened £3.3bn to £10.6bn.
Imports from non-EU countries rose by £5.3 billion to £61.0 billion in the three months to October 2019. This was largely driven by a £3.9 billion increase in unspecified goods (which includes non-monetary gold), and a £1.1 billion increase in machinery and transport equipment.
Imports from EU countries rose by £4.7 billion to £68.2 billion in the three months to October 2019. This was largely driven by machinery and transport equipment, and chemicals, which increased by £2.2 billion and £1.3 billion respectively.
Jack Leslie, Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, says the next government must do more to boost growth:
“Crucially the UK’s domestic challenges come against a weak global economic outlook for next year.
While the main parties have avoided any discussion of this challenging economic environment during the election campaign, navigating it will be a central task for the next government nonetheless.”