The UK economy took a huge knock in April as Brexit rumbles on.
It contracted by 0.4 per cent compared to the month before, marking its biggest monthly fall since March 2016.
It follows a decline of 0.1 per cent in March 2019.
Industrial production declined by 2.7 per cent during April, with manufacturing shrinking by an alarming 3.9 per cent.
This appears to be due to UK car plants shutting down in April, as manufacturers prepared for a no-deal Brexit which never came.
The ONS’s head of GDP, Rob Kent-Smith said: “GDP growth showed some weakening across the latest 3 months, with the economy shrinking in the month of April mainly due to a dramatic fall in car production, with uncertainty ahead of the UK’s original EU departure date leading to planned shutdowns.
“There was also widespread weakness across manufacturing in April, as the boost from the early completion of orders ahead of the UK’s original EU departure date has faded.”
Yael Selfin, Chief Economist at KPMG UK, fears that the UK faces many more months of weak growth:“The hangover that’s followed the UK’s original exit date is proving stronger than anticipated. Today’s figures signal the UK economy is likely to experience more subdued growth for the rest of the year, marred by Brexit uncertainty.
“The significant drop in car manufacturing, and in broader manufacturing activity at the start of Q2, point at more than just a reversal of the stock building effect seen as businesses prepared for an expected Brexit in March.
“While services saw a slight improvement in April, continued weakness of financial services and the hospitality sector do not bode well for the overall prospects for the economy this year.”