Business investment in worst run since 2009

Business investment in worst run since 2009

Business investment has now declined for three quarters in a row, figures show, its worst run since the economic downturn of 2008 to 2009.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said investment fell by 1.1% in the July to September period compared with the previous quarter.

However, separate ONS figures showed government borrowing fell in November.

Borrowing was £7.2bn last month, down £0.9bn from a year earlier and the lowest November figure for 14 years.

Business investment comes from both private and public corporations and includes investments in transport, technology and buildings.

Many major businesses, including Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Airbus and BMW, have all warned that Brexit threatens investment levels in UK business operations.

Earlier this week, a host of British business groups criticised politicians for focusing on infighting rather than preparing for Brexit, warning that there is not enough time to prepare for a no-deal scenario.

Also on Wednesday, the Bank of England cut its UK growth forecast and warned a lack of Brexit clarity is hitting the economy.

The Bank said uncertainty over the UK’s departure from the EU had “intensified considerably” over the past month.

In a raft of official releases on Friday, the ONS also issued the latest balance of payments figures.

The ONS said the current account deficit – the difference between money flowing in and out of the UK – widened to £26.5bn in the third quarter. The figure was worse than expected and compares with a £20bn deficit in the previous three months.

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