UK ECONOMY CONTRACTS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2012

The British economy shrank unexpectedly for the first time since 2012 in the second quarter, dragged down by a slump in manufacturing just as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to leave the European Union with or without a divorce deal.

In the most startling economic warning sign since the 2016 Brexit referendum, gross domestic product fell at a quarterly rate of 0.2% in the three months to June, below all forecasts in a Reuters poll that had pointed to a flat reading.

Sterling fell to $1.2080, matching the 31-month low it reached on Aug. 1. Against the euro. Year-on-year economic growth slid to 1.2% from 1.8% in the first quarter, Britain’s Office for National Statistics said, its weakest since the start of 2018. Annual growth in June alone was the weakest since August 2013 at 1.0%.Many investors say a no-deal Brexit would send shock waves through the world economy, tip Britain into a recession, roil financial markets and weaken London’s position as the pre-eminent international financial center.