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Wicker: The US has Strong Interest in Cyprus' Reunification

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UK Economic Growth Slowest Since 2012

UK Economic Growth Slowest Since 2012

The UK economy expanded at its slowest annual rate in six years in 2018 after a sharp contraction in December.

Growth in the year was 1.4%, down from 1.8% in 2017 and the slowest rate since 2012, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The ONS blamed falls in factory output and car production for the slowdown, among other factors.

It follows forecasts of slower growth in 2019 due to Brexit uncertainty and a weaker global economy.

According to the ONS, quarterly growth also slowed, falling to 0.2% in the three months to December - down from 0.6% in the three months to September.

However, Chancellor Philip Hammond said the data showed the economy remained "fundamentally strong" and that he did not foresee a recession.

Head of GDP at the ONS Rob Kent-Smith said: "GDP slowed in the last three months of the year with the manufacturing of cars and steel products seeing steep falls and construction also declining.

"However, services continued to grow with the health sector, management consultants and IT all doing well."

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