On February 11, the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) released data showing that the country’s economy in 2018 grew at the lowest level in the past 6 years.
According to ONS, in the year 2018, the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth reached 1.4%, down from 1.8% in 2017 and the lowest level since 2012, while growing GDP in the fourth quarter last year was only 0.2%.
ONS said that GDP growth rate has slowed significantly in the last 3 months of last year, in which last December fell by 0.4%. This is the first time since September 2012 that growth in construction, manufacturing and service sectors has declined in the last month of the year.
The ONS report published in the context of the process of bringing the UK out of the European Union (EU), also known as Brexit, is still unclear and the global economic growth is weaker.
The British government is currently seeking more time to ensure EU concessions to Brexit can overcome the “Congressional” gate and prevent the risk of leaving the block in chaos.
Under the plan, Britain will leave the EU on March 29, but so far there has been no agreement approved by both the EU and the British Parliament. This situation shows that the UK is likely to leave EU without agreement and adversely affect the fifth largest economy in the world.
Last week, the British central bank (BoE) lowered its forecast for UK economic growth this year from 1.7% to 1.2%, due to the slowing global economy and the impact of Brexit.
BoE governor Mark Carney cautions that the UK economy “has not been prepared” for a non-agreed Brexit situation.
In a February 11 report, Germany’s leading IWH Research Institute said a non-negotiated Brexit could result in 600,000 people worldwide losing their jobs, of which Germany was the worst hit.
According to IWH, in the case of UK imports from the rest of the EU decreased by 25% after Brexit, about 180,000 jobs in companies in 27 EU countries exporting directly to the UK are at risk.
Meanwhile, 433,000 jobs in companies in the EU and around the world may also be affected as their products are sold to companies that export directly to the UK.