There was more disappointing data from the UK on Friday, as UK GDP growth dropped to 0.3% in the three months to November 2018. It is the lowest reading for six months as Brexit worries continue to weigh heavily on the market. Read alongside the recent disappointing retail sales figures over Christmas, the UK is in a bit of a sticky situation at present.
Year-on-year, manufacturing production dropped by 1.1% when a more modest drop of 0.7% had been expected, and industrial production slumped to -1.5%. However, there was some positive news, as construction output increased by 3% from 4.1% the previous period – better than the 2.5% the markets had been expecting. We also saw the balance of trade figures for November, which showed the trade deficit narrowed by £0.13 billion to £2.9 billion. Interestingly, exports increased by 0.4% to reach an all-time high of £53.95 billion.
There’s nothing on the schedule today, which is just as well given the anticipation surrounding the vote on Theresa May’s Brexit plans tomorrow. We can expect some sterling volatility throughout this week and beyond. It is widely expected that the bill will fail, so the real question is what happens next? There could be a second referendum, we could leave without a deal, or there might even be a general election. Strap yourselves in, because it’s about to get a little bumpy out there.