Home Business Economy slows rapidly amid weak trade and investment – The Times

Economy slows rapidly amid weak trade and investment – The Times

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Commuters passing the Bank of England. David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, attacked its “doom-laden” 2019 forecast for ignoring “positive news on record employment rates, stable inflation and foreign direct investment”Hannah McKay/Reuters

Britain’s economy is slowing rapidly with only household and government spending and the service sector keeping growth afloat as trade, manufacturing and business investment all slide backwards, according to official GDP figures.

In 2018 UK growth dropped to 1.4 per cent from 1.8 per cent in 2017, making it the equal weakest year since 2009. The data from the Office for National Statistics revealed a sharp slowdown in the second half of the year and dashed hopes of an economic rebalancing from household spending to exports and engineering.

For the month of December alone the economy shrank 0.4 per cent, with each of the key sectors — services, production and construction — all in decline for the first time since September 2012. For the final three months…

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