UK now the worst-performing advanced economy in the world after post-Brexit vote slump

Canada became the last G7 nation to report figures on Wednesday, confirming the UK’s position at the bottom of the list

Ben Chapman@b_c_chapman
Thursday 01 June 2017 07:53
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Just a year ago, prior to the Brexit vote, the UK economy was flying high, outgrowing Germany, Japan and the US
Just a year ago, prior to the Brexit vote, the UK economy was flying high, outgrowing Germany, Japan and the US

The UK is now the worst-performing advanced economy in the world, with growth slumping to just 0.2 per cent in the first three months of the year.

It means Britain is bottom of the G7 group of advanced economies, while Canada has surged to the top, with an expansion of 0.9 per cent in the period.

After Canada became the last G7 nation to report figures on Wednesday, the UK’s position at the bottom of the list was confirmed.

Before the Brexit vote, just under a year ago, the UK economy was flying high, outgrowing Germany, Japan and the US.

Now Britain is languishing alongside Italy, whose economy also grew at 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

Behind Canada at the top is Germany with 0.6 per cent growth, followed by Japan with 0.5 per cent, France on 0.4 per cent and the US at 0.3 per cent.

The UK economy had initially held up better than expected in the months since last June’s Brexit vote, as consumer spending remained strong.

However, signs of a deterioration have been gathering as Theresa May readies herself to begin divorce talks with fellow EU leaders.

Inflation jumped unexpectedly to 2.7 per cent for the year in April, thanks to a dramatic slump in the pound which has made imports more expensive.

Price increases are now outpacing wages according to the latest Office for National Statistics data. As a result, shoppers may soon have to rein in the spending that has kept the economy afloat, experts say.

Earlier this month the Bank of England downgraded its growth forecast for 2017 to 1.9 per cent.

By contrast, Canada’s economy is on course to register a 3.7 per cent expansion, according to the country's national statistics agency.

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