Why is the British economy so slow?

With the economy slowing and the unemployment rate rising, economists have been debating what could be causing the slump.

But the latest economic data has shed new light on the answer: the recession.

The economy grew by 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, with the unemployment level at 9.6 per cent.

This was the weakest figure since the first three months of the year, as the economy continued to expand at a rate that was far below the rate of growth it had enjoyed in the previous three months.

But the headline figures suggest the British labour market is in a bit of a mess, as many firms are struggling to fill jobs and demand has continued to be muted by the recession and low inflation.

The UK economy grew 1.4 per cent, down from the first 3 months of 2017.

However, this was down from a rise of 0.9 per cent the previous quarter, as manufacturers cut jobs, factories closed, and businesses laid off staff.

Manufacturing and construction saw the largest fall in employment.

There were 1.6 million fewer people employed in manufacturing, down by 1 per cent from a year earlier, while there were 1 million fewer in construction, down 8 per cent on the previous year.

There were also some positives for the economy.

The unemployment rate fell to 7.5 per cent last quarter from 8.4 percent a year ago, and the rate for self-employed workers was 1.1 percentage points lower than it had been.

However, there was also a fall in retail sales, which fell by 1 million, from 2.1 million in the year to the end of March, as consumers moved towards cheaper goods and services.

“There is no silver bullet for recovery,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

He said that there were many factors that could be playing into the slowdown, including the effects of Brexit and the UK’s exit from the European Union.

“The government has made clear that the UK is leaving the EU and leaving the single market, but there are also signs of uncertainty around the Brexit process, particularly around trade,” he said.

More from Business Insider:”The UK has been hit hard by Brexit, and as the fallout continues there are fears of the end to the global trade deals and the weakening of sterling that underpin the UK economy.”

He added: “The uncertainty is compounded by a strong global economy that has struggled with uncertainty around trade, and also with the effects on the NHS of cuts in spending and other pressures.”

However there were some positives to come out of the first period of the British recession.

Economists said the unemployment figure is likely to have been understated because some people in employment are in part-time work, which reduces the number of people looking for work.

But it was also likely that many people who were working part-timers, such as nurses, were also being forced to take jobs that are not part-year or casual.

For example, the rate at which people in full-time jobs are finding work is also lower, meaning they have been looking for jobs for longer.

What’s the big picture?

The slowdown is also a factor in the UK labour market.

Many firms are cutting jobs as they try to cut costs, while others are making cuts in their workforce as they continue to expand.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number working part time or casual fell by 4.4 million between April and June, while the number doing full-year work increased by 3.6million.

A key question for economists is whether this is a long-term trend, or whether it can be reversed.

Jonathan Portes, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said that while the slowdown was a sign of things to come, there is no magic bullet to reverse the trend.

“We think the slowdown is a temporary setback, which will ease in the second half,” he told CNBC.

While the UK unemployment rate is still above the global average of 7.3 per cent and the economy is expected to grow by 1 percentage point this year, Mr Portes said it is a relatively small number and is not likely to cause the UK to experience another prolonged period of recession.

“There will be a slowdown in the next year or so, but it will not be a long one,” he added.

Why the slowdown matters for BritainThe UK labour markets are still a work in progress, as companies are struggling with the aftermath of Brexit, the economy continues to shrink and inflation is low.

As well as the impact of Brexit on the economy, the UK has had to cope with the impact on the healthcare system, which has seen a spike in demand for prescription drugs.

And there is the issue of the NHS, which is being hit by cuts in staffing.

In March, the British Medical Association (BMA) said that NHS hospitals across the country have been hit by a “severe staffing


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