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According to the latest British Chambers of Commerce’s (BCC) survey of 6,500 UK firms, conducted in November, the UK economy ended 2019 in stagnation, in the wake of long-term uncertainty, mounting business costs and a global economic slowdown.

Key Findings from the quarterly economic snapshot:

“The BCC is forecasting a slowdown in economic growth to 0.2% in the final three months of 2019, from 0.3% in the third quarter.

The Bank of England estimates growth of just 0.1% in the fourth quarter, when high street spending stalled and many firms put investment plans on hold before the election and due to Brexit uncertainty.

The BCC estimates the UK economy grew by 1.3% in 2019. It predicts growth will slow to 1% in 2020, which would be the weakest performance since 2009.

The BCC said the key indicators in the service sector remained well below their historic averages. The balance of firms reporting increased domestic sales minus those reporting lower sales worsened to 11% between October and December, from 15% in the third quarter. Those reporting increased domestic orders fell from 9% to 6%. Both are at their lowest level since the first quarter of this year.

The export sales measure dropped from 6% to 5%, while export orders slipped from 1% to 0%, the lowest level since early 2019.”

The GBP/USD pair found buyers just ahead of the 1.32 handle, now trading around 1.3215. The Cable slipped sharply from near 1.3265 daily highs after stops got triggered in thin market conditions while markets weighed in looming Brexit risks starting out 2020 trades.