British GDP grew as expected in the second quarter -- but Brexit uncertainty continues to bite

LONDON — Britain’s economy grew as expected in the second quarter of 2017, but continued to experience a Brexit-based struggle, according to the second estimate from the ONS released on Wednesday.

GDP grew by 0.3% in the quarter, the ONS said, while annual growth was 1.7%.

Prior to the release economists had forecast 0.3% growth, representing a small increase from the 0.2% growth seen in the first quarter. Yearly growth was forecast at 1.7%. These figures confirmed the first estimate of growth released in July.

The 0.3% growth in the second quarter marks the second slowest growth since the beginning of 2016, with only Q1’s number worse.

It should be noted that these figures could still be revised higher or lower in the coming months.

Until the beginning of 2017, the UK economy fared better than all but the most optimistic of forecasters imagined in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum, confounding predictions of an immediate recession, and virtually ignoring any uncertainty over the future.

However, as the falling pound has pushed up inflation in recent months, regular Brits have started to feel the pinch, spending less, and slowing the consumer boom that has fuelled the country’s economic performance in the past handful of years.

UK GDP has now grown in 18 consecutive quarters. The last time UK GDP shrunk over a quarter was in Q4 of 2012 when the economy readjusted following a huge boost from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

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