The U.K. economy continued to lose momentum in the three months through November as manufacturing slumped.
Growth slowed to 0.3 percent from 0.4 percent in the period through October, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. In November alone, gross domestic product grew 0.2 percent.
- The dominant services sector gained 0.3 percent in November and construction grew 0.6 percent. But industrial production declined 0.4 percent, hit by a 0.3 percent fall in factory output.
- Manufacturing has fallen for five consecutive months for the first time since 2008-09, with the car and pharmaceuticals industries both performing poorly.
- If GDP grows at a similar pace in December, growth in the final three months of the 2018 would halve to 0.3 percent, one of the weakest calendar quarters since the 2016 Brexit referendum.
- Fears about a no-deal Brexit are sapping consumer confidence, as illustrated by high street trading statements this week.
- The figures come days before lawmakers are expected to reject the deal Prime Minister Theresa May reached with the European Union. Defeat would leave little time to avoid an abrupt departure from the bloc, the scenario feared by businesses.
- Despite the fall in the pound since the Brexit referendum, the contribution to growth from trade has been disappointing and major export markets are now cooling. The trade deficit is at risk of widening further in the fourth quarter.