United Kingdom economic growth slows to lowest level in 6 months

UK trade balance

UK trade balance

The economy grew by 0.3% during the period, less than the 0.4% in the three months to October, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The rolling three-month growth rate for September to November was calculated by comparing GDP during this period to the previous three-month period from June to August.

'Accountancy and house-building again grew but a number of other areas were sluggish.

"Manufacturing saw a steep decline, with vehicle production and the often-erratic pharmaceutical industry both performing poorly".

That is the weakest GDP growth since an increase of 0.1 per cent between March and May this year.

Over three months that fall doubled to a 0.8 per cent drop, with all four sub-divisions reported a decline for the first time since October 2012.

Figures from Germany and France earlier this week similarly showed falling industrial output.

BRITAIN'S economy is slowing up as Brexit uncertainty alarms business, latest official figures reveal.

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"There may well be a common theme which is hurting the factory sector throughout Europe, for example changes in the auto industry", Investec chief economist Philip Shaw said, adding that Brexit worries were also weighing on investment.

Having initially postponed MPs' vote on her Brexit deal in December, Prime Minister Theresa May will attempt to pass it through parliament on Tuesday 11 February.

Worries about the global economy, stoked by an ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China, have had knock-on effects for other economies, as well as the UK.

United Kingdom economic growth looks set to slow to a quarterly rate of 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from 0.6 percent in the third quarter, according to data from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), an independent economics think-tank in London.

The quarterly rate of GDP growth is the weakest seen in six months, hindered by a fall in manufacturing output which fell for the fifth month in a row.

"The risks to our forecasts however, are tilted to the downside because of Brexit", Amit Kara, an economist at NIESR, said. Disappointments in auto production should come as no surprise if we consider the recent news from Jaguar Landrover in which the UK's largest motor manufacturer announced it is embarking on a headcount cull in response to falling global demand for its vehicles.

Separate data showed that, once erratic items like aircraft orders were stripped out, the gulf between imports and exports - the trade deficit - widened to £9.5bn in the three months to November.

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