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August 27, 2016

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Brexit jolt limited as UK grows in Q2

BRITAIN’S economic growth picked up speed in the second quarter, official data confirmed yesterday, but economists expressed concern about the longer-term impact of Brexit.

Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent, the Office for National Statistics said in a second estimate for April-June, which included the shock EU exit referendum towards the end.

That was flat from the initial estimate, and followed a 0.4-percent growth in the first quarter.

“The reporting period for this release covers Quarter 2 and therefore includes data for a short period after the EU referendum,” the ONS said.

“There is very little anecdotal evidence at present to suggest that the referendum has had an impact on GDP in Quarter 2 2016,” the ONS added in a statement.

The latest second quarter growth number was in line with market expectations.

Britons had voted on June 23 to leave the European Union in a surprise vote that sent markets tumbling and the pound slumping in its initial aftermath.

“The vote for Brexit occurred too late in the (second) quarter to have a significant impact on growth,” said IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer.

However, he also warned it would be a “considerable time” before the economy would expand by “anything like 0.6 percent” quarter on quarter.

“We suspect the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in the 23 June referendum will significantly weigh down on UK economic activity for a prolonged period,” Archer said.


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