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UK GDP growth stalls, ahead of snap elections

The U.K. economic growth stalled in October amid the lowest level of construction output since January 2018, as the country prepared to head to the polls Dec. 12.

The country's month-over-month GDP growth was flat in October, marking the third consecutive month of no growth, after ticking down 0.1% in the prior month, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for GDP growth to remain unchanged in October.

On a monthly basis, production and manufacturing output edged up 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively, after registering declines of 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively, in the previous month. The services index added 0.2% after stalling in the prior month.

Construction output declined 2.3% in October while agricultural output rebounded.

In the three months to October, the country's GDP was flat following a 0.3% growth rate recorded in the three months to September, which prevented the country from falling into a technical recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

The Econoday consensus forecast was for GDP growth to ease to 0.1% in the three months to October.

The services sector was the only positive contributor to GDP growth in the three months to October, growing by 0.2%. Output in the production and construction sectors contracted, by 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively.

Manufacturing also fell 0.7%.

Meanwhile, the U.K.'s goods and services trade deficit widened by £2.3 billion to £7.2 billion in the three months to October, as imports grew faster than exports. The goods deficit widened by £6.8 billion to £35.6 billion, while the services surplus widened by £4.4 billion to £28.4 billion.