UK at bot­tom of Euro­pean growth league, fore­cast

Western Morning News - - Uk And World News -

The UK is lag­ging be­hind EU neigh­bours eco­nom­i­cally and is set to re­main at the bot­tom of the growth league in the years af­ter Brexit, ac­cord­ing to fore­casts from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

It warned that Bri­tain’s eco­nomic prospects could be even gloomier, as its fore­casts are based on the as­sump­tion of a “be­nign” re­sult to Brexit talks, with trad­ing re­la­tions be­tween the UK and EU re­main­ing un­changed. Risks to the UK econ­omy from a bad Brexit out­come are “large and pre­dom­i­nantly to the down­side”, the Com­mis­sion said in its au­tumn Eco­nomic Fore­cast. The re­port, re­leased in Brus­sels, down­graded UK GDP growth for 2018 to 1.3% - from 1.5% in the spring – and pre­dicted it would de­cline to 1.2% in both 2019 and 2020.

UK growth is fore­cast to be well be­low the 2.2% fore­cast for the EU27 in 2018, 2.0% in 2019 and 1.9% in 2020.

Italy (1.1%) and Den­mark (1.2%) prop up the ta­ble in 2018, but the UK takes bot­tom slot in the fol­low­ing two years and re­mains be­hind Ger­many (1.7% in 2020) and France (1.6%).

In the years be­fore the 2016 ref­er­en­dum, the UK matched or out­stripped the EU growth aver­age, out­per­form­ing coun­tries like Ger­many, France and the Nether­lands with GDP growth of 2.9% in 2014 and 2.3% in 2015, com­pared with 1.6% and 2.3% for the EU27.

Since the ref­er­en­dum it has slumped to the lower reaches of the growth ta­ble, record­ing 1.8% in 2016 and 1.7% in 2017 against EU27 av­er­ages of 2.1% and 2.6%.

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