Britain is the only major economy on earth where growth is slowing

A woman carries a British union flag design umbrella as she walks past the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain

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A woman carries a British union flag design umbrella as she walks past the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain
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Thomson Reuters

  • Britain’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 0.4% in the final quarter of 2017, unchanged from the previous reading.
  • GDP grew by 1.4% on a year-to-year basis in the quarter, once again unchanged from February’s reading.
  • Annual growth was revised marginally higher to 1.8%, but the UK is the only major economy which saw its economy slow down last year.

LONDON – The UK’s was the only major economy on the planet to slow down last year, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released on Thursday shows.

Britain’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 0.4% in the quarter, according to the ONS’s third estimate of growth. That was unchanged from the statistical agency’s second reading in February.

GDP grew by 1.4% on a year-to-year basis in the quarter, once again unchanged from February.

Here’s the chart:

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source
ONS

Services, the dominant sector of the UK economy, accounted for the majority of growth over the data period. Services account for roughly 80% of UK output.

“Economic growth at the end of last year was unrevised with services and manufacturing continuing to drive growth,” the ONS’ Head of National Accounts, Rob Kent-Smith said in a statement.

The data means that the UK remains close to the bottom of the G7 growth tables, and the only economy in the group to have slowed down in 2017.

“Among the G7, the UK was the only economy to see a deceleration in growth between 2016 and 2017, which does point to the dampening impact of Brexit-related uncertainty on UK business investment and the squeeze on consumers from the weaker pound pushing up UK import prices in 2017,” John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC said in a statement.

On one measure, the so-called chained volume measure of growth, the UK’s economy grew marginally faster than Japan and Italy last year, although was well behind the like of France and the USA. That’s because the ONS revised higher its growth figures for both Q1 and Q2 last year.

GDP for the final quarter of 2017 initially came in at 0.5%, but was revised down in February after more complete data for the end of 2017 became available.

UK GDP has now grown in 20 consecutive quarters. The last time UK GDP shrunk over a quarter was in Q4 of 2012 when the economy readjusted following a huge boost from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.