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UK economy suffers worst three months in decade after stagnating in October

By Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

Britain's economy has suffered its worst three months for more than a decade after official figures revealed output failed to grow once again in October.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy saw zero growth month-on-month in October, following two months of declining gross domestic product (GDP).

This marks the first time the economy has failed to grow for three months in a row since early 2009 amid the recession following the financial crisis.

The ONS data also showed the economy grew by just 0.7% year-on-year in October - the worst such performance since June 2012.

And on a rolling three-month basis, the ONS said growth also stagnated in October, down from 0.3% growth between July and September.

It offers a weak backdrop for the economy ahead of Thursday's General Election day and also sees a dismal start for the final quarter of 2019.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats were quick to pounce on the figures, blaming the Conservatives for the economy's woes.

Economists said the economy was in danger of stagnating in the fourth quarter and looked likely to undershoot the Bank of England's expectations for 0.2% growth.

Jack Leslie, economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "The UK economy has slowed from a crawl to a halt over the course of 2019.

"Crucially the UK's domestic challenges come against a weak global economic outlook for next year.

"While the main parties have avoided any discussion of this challenging economic environment during the election campaign, navigating it will be a central task for the next government nonetheless."