The United Kingdom recorded its worst growth, outside of a recession, since the Second World War, mainly because of the uncertainties linked to Brexit, according to a study revealed by the Guardian newspaper.
British companies lived 2019 with a sword of Damocles above their heads . The prospect of a Brexit without agreement with the Europeans, synonymous with a sudden breakdown in trade relations, has forced companies to adapt . They slowed down their investments but also their activities, like the automotive sector, which many companies were forced to take twice on vacation this year.
Result : sluggish growth of 1% . Unheard of in half a century, outside of a recession. The services sector, the real engine of the British economy which contributes 80% of GDP, experienced three consecutive months of slowdown at the end of the year. Even the traditional post-Christmas sales day, the boxing day , attracted 10% fewer people. Household consumption is also slowing sharply.
A fog of uncertainty
The early December 12 legislative elections, with the Conservatives' victory, brought some clarity and gave the pound a new lease of life. But the refusal of a longer deadline to negotiate a smooth exit from the European Union by Prime Minister Boris Johnson has mitigated this recovery and has kept the fog of uncertainty hanging over the British economy.
The divorce between the European Union and the United Kingdom will take place in two stages. First the application on January 31 of the negotiated withdrawal agreement which will then open a transition period until the end of 2020.