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The U.K. statistics agency, the ONS, provided a shock statistic for the U.K. economy on Monday morning. The GDP growth came in at -0.4% month on month for December, missing the expectation of 0.00% growth. It should be noted that historically, in an economy such as Britain’s; driven by services and consumption, the final month and quarter of the year is generally positive, in terms of growth. But the quarter came in at 0.2%, missing the forecast and falling from 0.6% in Q3. According to various agencies, the annual growth came in variously between 1.3% and 1.4%, depending on the calculation. Reuters confirmed it at 1.3%, falling from 1.6%.

The U.K. govt public relations department went into crisis mode, highlighting that growth had only stalled, as it had done throughout Europe. However, looking under the bonnet at the raft of data, is cause for alarm. Exports have fallen, despite the weak pound. Business investment is -3.7% year on year and manufacturing is now in recession, after del...


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