The British economy grew by 1.4 per cent last year, the lowest growth since the financial crisis hit in 2009.
According to the UK National Statistical Office (ONS), growth slowed down to 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter last year, compared with 0.6 percent in the previous quarter.
ONS does not link the modest growth directly to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, although there is evidence that the uncertainty associated with brexit has had an impact on economic activity, primarily the investment desire.
Better than expected
– The Brexit uncertainty is obviously nothing to help on the economic front, but it is probably just a secondary factor to this slowdown. The main reason is global decline, says market analyst David Cheetham in the XTB mediator house.
“The Eurozone has been particularly weak lately, and all the attention has now largely focused on the hope of a real breakthrough in the trade dispute between the United States and China,” he says.
The British economy has generally outperformed expectations since the majority of the EU referendum was announced in the June 2006 referendum.
Fear the consequences
The UK central bank has previously warned of the consequences of withdrawing from the EU without a negotiated divorce agreement and fears that in the course of months it may shrink the UK economy by up to 8 percent, while house prices may fall by over 30 percent .
Last week, the central bank reduced its forecast for this year from 1.7 to 1.2 per cent, referring to the slowdown in the world economy and the “brexit fog”.
After 46 years of membership, Britain left the EU on March 29, but Parliament has so far rejected the divorce agreement Prime Minister Theresa May has negotiated with Brussels.