Post-Brexit-vote surge for UK economy comes to an end

Weakening retail sales as inflation raises price of imports allied with lower industrial output point to the UK economy ‘dropping down a gear’

Worries that the UK economy is losing steam have been strengthened by news of a housing market slowdown, a drop in industrial output and the weakest performance for a year by the construction industry.

Economists on Friday said there was growing evidence that the UK economy slipped down a gear as it entered the new year, following a strong finish to 2016 that had confounded the doomsayers predicting a post-Brexit-vote slump.

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