Commenting on the latest UK GDP and trade statistics, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Although there was modest rally in GDP growth between April and May, the continued slowdown on the underlying three-month measure is further evidence that the UK economy is faltering under the weight of relentless Brexit uncertainty and tougher global economic conditions.
“Manufacturing activity picked-up in May as car production reopened, but the longer-term measures point to a sector under pressure from the running down of excess stock, tougher global trading conditions and rising upfront costs.
“There was a welcome narrowing in the UK’s trade deficit in May, largely reflecting both a decline in imports and a rise in export goods. However, Brexit uncertainty, the absence of clarity on fundamentals aspects of trade conditions after October 31st, and a slowing global economy are likely to increasingly weigh on the UK’s net trade position over the medium-term.
“Against this backdrop, it is vital that the next Prime Minister prioritises avoiding a messy and disorderly exit from the EU, as such a departure would likely trigger a marked deterioration in economic conditions. More must also be done to boost the UK’s growth trajectory by delivering the transformative infrastructure projects needed to secure the UK’s economic future.”