Rob Kent-Smith, the head of GDP at the Office for National Statistics, said: “GDP slowed in the last three months of the year with the manufacturing of cars and steel products seeing steep falls and construction also declining. However, services continued to grow with the health sector, management consultants and IT all doing well.”
Meanwhile in America time continues to run out for President Donald Trump, who is required to secure a deal for the controversial Mexican border wall.
If the White House fails to achieve a compromise with the House of Representatives over funding for the project, the next US government shutdown is expected to begin on Friday this week.
Richard Shelby, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, commented: “The talks have stalled right now… I’m hoping we can get off the dime… because time’s ticking away, but we’ve got some problems.”
US dollar traders, will be awaiting the publication of the US unit labour costs for the fourth quarter later on today, which are expected to increase.
Today also saw the publication of the yearly UK manufacturing production figures for December, which decreased by a worse-than-expected -2.1 percent.
In Brexit news, Theresa May has responded to Jeremy Corbyn’s letter over the weekend in which she questioned the request for the UK to remain in the customs union, however she has agreed to discuss “alternative arrangements” to the Irish backstop.
Mr Corbyn also assuaged some fears about a possible Brexit no-deal, tweeting: “It does not take the option of a public vote off the table.”
Many pound traders are now looking ahead to Wednesday when Mrs May is expected to request more time from the House of Commons to secure a renegotiated Brexit deal with the EU.