Fundamentals of UK economy strong, Javid says after second-quarter contraction


Newly appointed Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Sajid Javid said the fundamentals of the UK economy were strong after figures showed it had contracted in the second quarter, but he said it was a challenging period for the global economy as a whole.

Gross domestic product fell at a quarterly rate of 0.2% in the three months to June, an unexpectedly severe hangover from a pre-Brexit stockpiling boost in early 2019.

“This is a challenging period across the global economy, with growth slowing in many countries. But the fundamentals of the British economy are strong – wages are growing, employment is at a record high and we’re forecast to grow faster than Germany, Italy and Japan this year,” Javid said in a statement.

“The government is determined to provide certainty to people and businesses on Brexit – that’s why we are clear that the UK is leaving the EU on October 31.”

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Kate Holton

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