A five pounds banknote is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this picture illustration taken June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
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A raft of disappointing British economic figures Friday reinforced concerns that the slowdown has broadened across sectors and extended into the second quarter of the year, when the country finally began high-level negotiations over its exit from the European Union. Capping a week of fairly grim economic news, the Office for National Statistics said Friday that industrial output in Britain fell 0.1 percent in May from the previous month, against expectations for a 0.4 percent increase. In the first three months of 2017, the British economy grew by a muted quarterly rate of 0.2 percent, the lowest of all Group of Seven industrial economies, largely because higher inflation and Brexit uncertainties kept a lid on consumer spending.It's also said it doesn't want to remain a member of the customs union as that would limit its ability to strike trade deals beyond the EU.
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