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UK barely outgrows France, Germany in 2019

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 11, 2020
The British economy picked up a little speed in 2019 despite registering no growth at all in the final quarter of the year, as the U.K. outpaced both France and Germany in its final year as a member of the European Union.
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Business in Britain   UK construction
The figures nevertheless add to a subdued picture for the global economy last year, as trade tensions between the U.S. and China weighed on activity worldwide. Prospects for growth in 2020 perked up following a December truce between Washington and Beijing, but may dip again as the coronavirus outbreak in China spreads across the world.

Topics: France Germany UK

The U.K. economy grew 1.4% in 2019, according to a preliminary estimate by the Office for National Statistics published Tuesday. That was faster than the 1.3% pace recorded in 2018 and the 1.3% average of more than two dozen economic forecasts compiled by the U.K. Treasury.

The 19 countries that use the euro expanded by 1.2% in 2019, according to an official estimate. France similarly grew by 1.2%, though Germany's economy grew by just 0.6%. The U.S. expanded 2.3%.

The British economy has held up better than many economists expected in the three years since voters chose to exit the EU in a referendum. Consumer and government spending has supported growth even as business investment has stalled, a pattern repeated in 2019, figures show.