Brexit Britain Bounces Back as Economic Growth Doubles, Salaries Rise

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 6: A construction worker works on a beam at The Hub on Causeway next to TD Garden in Boston on March 6, 2018.
Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The British economy bounced back in the second quarter of the year, doubling from 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent growth, as salaries continue to rise with fewer EU migrants depressing wages.

The warm weather is said to have boosted retail and construction after growth fell back to 0.2 percent in the first quarter of this year following adverse weather brought in by the ‘Beast from the East’ cold wave, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Friday.

“Services industries had robust growth of 0.5 percent in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018, which contributed 0.42 percentage points to overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Growth of 0.9 percent in construction also contributed positively to GDP growth,” the ONS said.

The feel-good factor from England’s performance in the World Cup — where the team reached the quarterfinals — is also said to have boosted growth.

The United Kingdom outperformed the Eurozone, which grew by 0.3 percent last quarter.

Rob Kent-Smith, head of ONS national accounts, said: “The economy picked up a little in the second quarter with both retail sales and construction helped by the good weather and rebounding from the effects of the snow earlier in the year.”

The figures also detailed a 0.5 percent rise in business investment in the second quarter.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that starting the salaries were rising. Britain experienced record low unemployment, falling to its lowest level since 1975 at 4.2 percent, with fewer European Union migrants in the country to compete with Britons in the job market.

As a result, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) survey showed rising pay for newly hired permanent staff as British workers were able to command higher salaries with a markedly lower supply of cheap foreign labour.

“With our data showing starting salaries continuing to rise, the latest official government figures suggest that we are finally seeing the effects of a tighter labour market feed through to pay,” Sophie Wingfield, head of policy at REC, said.

Breitbart London reported on Monday that Britain’s trade exports hit a record high ahead of the country’s departure from the EU, with official figures showing that 55 percent of exports in 2017 were to nations outside of the bloc, and that the trade deficit between the United Kingdom and non-EU countries was shrinking.

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