United Kingdom narrowly avoids sliding into recession despite weakest annual growth since 2010

UK growth slowest in almost a decade, says ONS

It shrank by 0.2% in the three months to June 2019, as businesses dealt with the fallout of stockpiling after Brexit was delayed from its first deadline in March.

"The fact that the Government will be celebrating 0.1% growth in the last six months is a sign of how low their hopes and expectations for our economy are", he said.

Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union at the end of January, following a three-month extension granted last month.

Official figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics showed 0.3 per cent growth for the three months to September.

A recession occurs when there are two successive quarters of negative growth.

Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "All told, GDP undeniably is growing at a slightly below-trend rate this year, but the case for the MPC to cut Bank Rate remains weak, now that the downside risk to the economy posed by a no-deal Brexit has faded and fiscal stimulus is coming next year".

Britain's economy has lost momentum since the 2016 Brexit referendum, before which it typically grew more than 2% a year.

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"Reviewing last year's situation, growth slowed to the lowest level in the past decade". For 2020, the BoE expects a slowdown to 1.3 per cent.

Nevertheless it rose earlier in the day as investors expected economic growth, and jumped further later in the morning as traders welcomed news that the Brexit Party will not compete against the Conservatives in hundreds of constituencies in next month's election. Business investment held steady in the third quarter but dropped by 0.6 per cent on the year, the ONS said.

However, leading economists and business groups have said the new figures reflect the "weak" state of the United Kingdom economy, as it delivered 1% year-on-year growth against the same quarter in 2018 - the lowest figure since 2010. Government spending grew by 0.3%. "Manufacturing failed to grow as falls in many industries were offset by vehicle production bouncing back following April shutdowns".

The new forecasts, which assume that Britain leaves the European Union with a deal on January 31, contrasted with prior predictions of 1.3 percent for both years.

Some retailers also said bad weather had hurt demand too, the ONS added.

The figures chime to a degree with a British Retail Consortium survey that showed the biggest fall in retail spending of any September since at least the mid-1990s.

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