Aug 9, 2019

U.K. economy shrinks for the first time since 2012

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The U.K.'s economy shrank by 0.2% in 2019's second quarter, its first contraction since 2012, the country's Office of National Statistics reported on Friday.

What's happening: Fears of a no-deal Brexit, which could damage the U.K. economy as it drops out of the European Union onto World Trade Organization rules, on October 31 are dampening the country's growth.

  • Meanwhile, those same fears are causing the pound to lose value versus the dollar, plunging to its lowest level in more than two years last month, per Axios' Dion Rabouin.

The other side: "Friday’s figures showed that British consumers remain upbeat as unemployment is at 44-year lows and wages are rising solidly and outpacing inflation," the AP reports.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Brexit

Go deeper

Brexit back-and-forth leaves the pound reeling

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks set to call for a snap general election on Oct. 14 if he loses a no-deal Brexit vote in Parliament this week, Bloomberg reports, citing a senior U.K. official.

Why it matters: It's the latest in the litany of Brexit back-and-forth that has left the market reeling and most of Britain uncertain about the future.

Go deeperArrowSep 3, 2019

Trump promises "very big trade deal" with U.K. as Brexit deadline looms

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Sunday. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump promised Britain Sunday a "very big trade deal" with the U.S. — "bigger than we’ve ever had with the U.K." — and declared British Prime Minister Boris Johnson the "right man" to oversee Brexit, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Trump said Britain leaving the EU would be like losing "an anchor round the ankle," per the BBC. But as the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline looms, it is still unclear whether the United Kingdom can leave the European Union with an agreement in place or, indeed, whether the U.K. will leave the EU. Johnson has vowed it will happen "do or die," but experts warn that leaving without a deal could have catastrophic consequences.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 25, 2019

Shrinking German economy signals danger for global financial health

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Dow's 800-point fall grabbed headlines, but the real warning about the global economy's dire health comes from Europe. The German economy shrank in the second quarter, showing negative growth for the second time in 4 quarters.

Why it matters: Germany is being decimated by the global downturn in manufacturing and trade that has weighed extensively on major exporting countries. The downturn is likely coming for other economies as well, experts say.

Go deeperArrowAug 15, 2019