British Economy Shrinks, a Sign of Economic Uncertainty


LONDON — The British economy shrank in the second quarter, its first contraction in more than six years, as uncertainty over Brexit and slowing global growth took a toll.

The economy fell 0.2 percent in the three-month period ending in June, the Office of National Statistics said on Friday. The drop ends a string of 25 quarters of economic growth in Britain. Analysts had predicted growth to be unchanged from the first quarter.

The British pound, which has been slumping for months, lurched further after the report was released, falling a fraction below $1.21.

The economic slowdown occurred across Britain’s manufacturing, construction and agriculture sectors. Only the services sector showed a small uptick, according to the statistics agency.

The latest data reflect how British businesses have been whipsawed by the deliberations over Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. Early this year, businesses built up inventories in anticipation of supply-chain disruptions surrounding the expected March 29 departure date. That feverish activity bolstered the economy, and the gross domestic product grew by 0.5 percent in the first quarter.


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