Britain dodged a recession ahead of the now-postponed Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, providing an election boost for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The economy grew 0.3% between July and September, avoiding a second straight quarter of contraction, the Office for National Statistics said on Monday. Still, the figures were weaker than expected and showed the economy had little momentum as it entered the fourth quarter.
Johnson is seeking a Conservative majority in a general election on Dec. 12 to push his Brexit deal through Parliament.
If he wins, Britain could be out of the European Union by the new deadline of Jan. 31. If he loses, Brexit could be delayed further, extending the uncertaintyhanging over the economy, or the U.K. could see its most socialist government since the 1970s.
The rebound from the second quarter masked a fragile underlying picture, with GDP contracting in both August and September against a backdrop of Brexit uncertainty and slowing global growth.
It means the economy was losing strength as it entered a climatic year-end, explaining why some Bank of England official broke ranks to push for an interest-rate cut last week. The BOE expected an expansion of 0.4% in the quarter, in line with private-sector analysts.
Source : Bloomberg