Manufacturing slump puts UK economy into reverse as Brexit looms

GDP contracts by 0.4% in December in weakest year for growth since 2012

The British economy plunged into reverse in December, with a broad-based slump in economic output completing the weakest year for growth since 2012.

The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product contracted by 0.4% from the previous month, fuelled by a fall in spending on the high street over the key festive shopping period.

Related: Britain’s Brexit slump will be quietly cheered in some quarters | Larry Elliott

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