United Kingdom economy flatlines ahead of Brexit-dominated election

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Figures showed the services sector was the only positive contributor to GDP growth in the three months to October, rising by 0.2 percent.

- United Kingdom economy stalls in October as construction sector weighs.

Production fell by 0.7 percent during the three-month span with widespread declines across several manufacturing industries, while the construction industry tumbled by 2.3 percent in October alone.

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Services, which make up about three quarters of the United Kingdom economy, expanded by 0.2% but manufacturing, construction and agriculture all shrank.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Tuesday that the gross domestic product (GDP) of United Kingdom has remained flat in October, services and production growth offset by a drop in construction.

ONS reports that construction output decreased by 2.3% in the month-on-month all work series in October 2019; this is the largest monthly fall since January 2018 when it fell by 2.6%; this was largely because of a 3.1% fall in new work, with fix and maintenance also decreasing by 0.6%. But output in both production and construction contracted, losing by 0.7 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Growth was also flat across the three months to October.

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Commenting on the data, John Hawksworth PwC's chief economist placed the blame on continued Brexit uncertainty which led to a "loss of momentum" in the economy: "Growth seems likely to remain subdued through the rest of 2019, but we would hope for a gradual revival in activity over the course of 2020 if current political and economic uncertainties ease".

Economists warned the United Kingdom was on course for the weakest growth since 2009 due to the uncertainty, with growth inching. Gross domestic product rose by 0.7% compared with October 2018, the weakest growth since March 2012, when Britain was still trying to shake off the effects of the global financial crisis.

Brexit has also made a mark on the economy, driving a slowdown in business investment and prompting wild swings in inventory levels at manufacturers, which has also had an impact on the GDP figures.

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