Pound Sterling At 2-Year Low As UK Economy Shrinks

12 Août, 2019, 15:51 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Pound falls in wake of GDP release

Britain's new finance minister, Sajid Javid, said he did not think Britain's economy would fall into a full-blown recession, after official figures showed the economy contracted for the first time since 2012 during the three months to June.

He added: 'The reason we are seeing volatility in numbers - higher results in the first quarter, lower in the second quarter - the reason we're seeing this is because businesses are trying to work around Brexit and there's too much uncertainty.

"Earlier this week, revised GDP figures published in Scotland for the first quarter of 2019 showed that Scotland was outperforming the UK's economy - highlighting that the strengths of Scotland's economy are now being undermined by Brexit".

He further said the Brexit crisis and the uncertain global outlook left its economy on a "knife-edge" for the upcoming quarter.

"Manufacturing output fell back after a strong start to the year, with production brought forward ahead of the UK's original departure date from the EU", ONS statistician Rob Kent-Smith said.

"Nonetheless, it's clear from our business surveys that underlying momentum remains lukewarm, choked by a combination of slower global growth and Brexit uncertainty".

"On the assumption that the United Kingdom does ultimately leave the European Union with a "deal" on October 31, we expect an easing of uncertainties to allow economic activity to gradually pick up", he said. "A complete and utter disgrace - the sooner they are booted out of office, the better".

Year-on-year economic growth slid to 1.2% from 1.8% in the first quarter, Britain's Office for National Statistics said, its weakest since the start of 2018.

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The economic hazard warning lights are flashing, just as the trade dispute between the U.S. and unsettles the world economy.

"Sterling is already trading at its lowest levels for two years against both the US Dollar and the Euro, having fallen by 8% since May due to markets re-pricing in a hard Brexit", says Andy Scott, associate director at financial risk advisor, JCRA.

June manufacturing data was also unexpectedly poor and output for the quarter contracted at the fastest rate since early 2009, when Britain was mired in recession.

He also revealed that the service sector, usually a strong performer, "delivered virtually no growth at all".

The technical definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.

In contrast, the pound had enjoyed the lofty heights of on €1.4401 on 17 July, 2015 just months before the Brexit referendum was announced.

John McDonnell, economy spokesman for the Opposition Labour Party, blamed the Government's "Brexit bungling" for "tumbling business investment and stagnating productivity".

If it fails to do so, there has to be a general election.

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