August 9, 2019: Britain's economy unexpectedly shrank in the second quarter of the year on Brexit turmoil, official data showed Friday, placing the country on the verge of a recession.
Gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.2 percent in the April-June period, the first time the economy has contracted in almost seven years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.
The data, which was worse than market expectations for zero growth, sent the pound sliding against the euro and dollar.
The latest reading contrasted with 0.5-percent expansion in the first quarter, when activity was boosted by companies stockpiling ahead of Brexit.
Economic activity was buoyed in the first three months because Britain had initially been scheduled to leave the European Union at the end of March.