UK Economy Grows Post-Brexit As Bank Governor Extends Stay

The UK economy grew by 0.5% in the three months post-Brexit, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This growth was down from the 0.7% experienced in the previous quarter, but above analysts expectations of 0.3%. The services sector was largely responsible for the growth, rising by 0.8% whilst agriculture, manufacturing & production and construction all shrank. Transport, storage and communication was the largest growth area of the services sector, increasing by 2.2%. This was helped by a strong quarter for the UK film industry, with blockbuster summer releases including Finding Dory, The BFG & Jason Bourne raking in almost £100m at the box office.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond stated: “The fundamentals of the UK economy are strong and today’s data show that the economy is resilient.” Meanwhile, the ONS added that “the pattern of growth continues to be broadly unaffected following the EU referendum”.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has announced that he will extend his stay in charge for an additional year, stating that he will now step down in June 2019.

Carney’s decision to continue as Governor is due to his desire to see the UK through the expected turbulence of the Brexit negotiations, in order to provide continuity during the process.

British Prime Minister Theresa May stated that Carney’s stay would provide “continuity and stability as we negotiate our exit from the European Union”.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond noted that Britain would benefit from Carney’s “highly effective leadership of the Bank through a critical period for the British economy as we negotiate our exit from the European Union”.

Carney himself added that his decision to remain till 2019 “should help contribute to securing an orderly transition to the UK’s new relationship with Europe”.

Despite this extension, Carney will not be seeing out his full term as Governor of the Bank of England, which is due to culminate in 2021.

The Financial Times reported that Mr Carney decided to stay on to defend the Bank of England’s independence against attacks from pro-Brexit campaigners, who have argued that the Bank of England produced excessively negative forecasts for the economy of post-Brexit Britain in order to sway voters to support the remain campaign.

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