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

11 Décembre, 2019, 00:10 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • UK economy flatlines ahead of Brexit-dominated election

Britain's economy ground to a halt in October, with figures showing GDP flatlining just as the country gears up for a general election.

The Office for National Statistics publishes data on the United Kingdom economy on a monthly basis, but particular weight is placed on quarterly data (since it is time-averaged and relates to the near-time situation). The latest figures available cover the period from October 2018 to October 2019 and shows that the economy expanded by just 0.7% during this period.

Production fell by 0.7 percent during the three-month span with widespread declines across several manufacturing industries, while the construction industry tumbled by 2.3 percent in October alone.

It marked the weakest annual performance since March 2012.

Paul Dale, chief United Kingdom economist at Capital Economics, said: "The stagnation in GDP in October is unlikely to influence many people's vote in Thursday's election, but it could prompt some more MPC members to consider voting for lower interest rates in the coming months".

He added: "A loosening of monetary policy in the near future would indeed ease the burden on the domestic economy".

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"Sterling price action is all about the upcoming parliamentary election and real economic data should continue to play second fiddle", ING analysts said in a note sent to clients.

The latest data suggests manufacturing will make a positive contribution to GDP growth for the final quarter of 2017 - though it has a much smaller impact than the dominant services sector, which represents four-fifths of United Kingdom output.

Many investors hope a Conservative victory would help break the current Brexit deadlock, which has seen parliament resist several potential Brexit outcomes.

- All main sectors of economy slowed in three months to October.

ONS reports that construction output decreased by 2.3% in the month-on-month all work series in October 2019; this is the largest monthly fall since January 2018 when it fell by 2.6%; this was largely because of a 3.1% fall in new work, with fix and maintenance also decreasing by 0.6%.

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