UK economy growth slowest in almost a decade

The UK’s economy has grown at the slowest annual rate in almost a decade, according to the latest ONS figures.

The ONS revealed year-on-year growth in the three months ending September had slowed to 1%, down from 1.3% in the second quarter of 2019, although added that the economy had avoided a recession by growing 0.3% during Q3.

An ONS statistician commented on the latest figures: “GDP grew steadily in the third quarter, mainly thanks to a strong July.

“Services again led the way with construction also performing well. Manufacturing failed to grow as falls in many industries were offset by car production bouncing back following April shutdowns.

“Looking at the picture over the last year, growth slowed to its lowest rate in almost a decade. The underlying trade deficit narrowed, mainly due to growing exports of both goods and services.”

The 0.3% growth in July had driven the economy for the entire third quarter, but for the month of September, the ONS revealed GDP had fallen by 0.1%.

Royal London Asset Management senior economist, Melanie Baker, added: “Although the UK may have avoided a technical recession in Q3, the economy grew at a slow pace by UK standards and actually contracted in August and September.

“The outlook for the UK economy remains Brexit dependent and uncertainty, partly related to Brexit, has been dragging on growth in the meantime.

“Consumer spending continues to hold up, helped by real pay growth and low unemployment, underlining the importance of a healthy labour market for the UK’s growth prospects.”

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