UK economy shrinks as Brexit looms

Pro-Brexit activists demonstrate near the Houses of Parliament in central London.

File: Pro-Brexit activists demonstrate near the Houses of Parliament in central London.

AFP

LONDON - Britain's economy contracted in August, official data showed Thursday ahead of the nation's exit from the European Union later this month.

Gross domestic product - the combined value of all goods and services produced in the economy - slid 0.1 percent in August from July, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

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That contrasted with upwardly-revised monthly expansion of 0.4 percent in July.

On a brighter note however, the ONS also revealed that the economy grew 0.3 percent in the three months to August compared with the previous quarter.

"Growth increased in the latest three months, despite a weak performance across manufacturing, with TV and film production helping to boost the services sector," said Rob Kent-Smith, head of GDP at the ONS. 

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Sterling barely budged on the monthly reading, which was only moderately worse than market expectations of zero growth.

"The most recent GDP readings from the UK have shown a contraction in month-on-month terms - but taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, it does not appear quite so bad," noted XTB analyst David Cheetham.

Source
AFP