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UK Economy Stagnates In October

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The UK economy stagnated in October as Brexit uncertainties and upcoming election weighed on most of the sectors, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday.

Gross domestic product remained unchanged in October from September, when it was down 0.1 percent.

The dominant service sector grew only 0.2 percent month-on-month after showing nil growth. Nonetheless, this was slightly faster than the expected 0.1 percent.

Industrial production gained 0.1 percent and manufacturing grew 0.2 percent. Economists had forecast industrial and manufacturing output to grow 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, due to adverse weather made construction output fall 2.3 percent on month, which was the biggest fall since January 2018. Economists had forecast a marginal 0.2 percent decline.

On a yearly basis, GDP gained 0.7 percent in October, the weakest in more than seven years.

Rolling three-month growth was flat in October, following growth of 0.3 percent in the third quarter, data showed.

Year-on-year, industrial production declined 1.3 percent versus a 1.4 percent drop in September. Similarly, manufacturing output rose 1.2 percent after easing 1.8 percent.

At the same time, construction output dropped 2.1 percent annually compared to the forecast of -0.1 percent.

Another report showed that the visible trade deficit widened to a seven-month high as the increase in import outpaced the exports growth. The deficit totaled GBP 14.48 billion compared to a GBP 11.5 billion shortfall in September.

Exports of goods grew only 1.8 percent, while imports advanced 8.3 percent on month in October.

The overall total trade balance showed a shortfall of GBP 5.18 billion versus a GBP 1.92 billion deficit a month ago.

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