British economy slows down sharply amid acute Brexit unease

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that the British economy slowed sharply in the last three months of 2018 as uncertainties over Brexit intensified.

The Office for National Statistics said Monday that the British economy grew by a quarterly rate of only 0.2 percent during the fourth quarter, down from the 0.6 percent tick recorded in the previous three-month period.

Over 2018 as a whole, the British economy grew by 1.4 percent, its lowest rate since 2009 and the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

The British economy has largely held up better than many people expected in the immediate aftermath of the country’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016.

However, there’s mounting evidence that as Brexit day draws nearer — March 29 — firms are getting increasingly edgy.