U.K. Recession Risk in Next Year Climbs to 30%, Economists Say

There’s almost a one-in-three chance of a U.K. recession in the 12 months, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The probability of two consecutive quarters of negative growth has increased to 30 percent, the highest since the end of 2016, the survey of 10 economists found. That’s up from 25 percent a month ago. It was at 20 percent or lower for all of 2018.
The survey was conducted Feb. 1-6, before the Bank of England published new forecasts that see the slowest economic growth in a decade in 2019 and a slightly greater than 20 percent chance of a recession. Governor Mark Carney told a press conference that a no-deal Brexit would increase the probability of a contraction.
Economists put the chances of a recession at almost 50 percent in the immediate aftermath of 2016’s Brexit vote, but the economy continued to expand. There hasn’t been a quarterly contraction since 2012.
BOE policy makers will have further chance to explain their outlook at events in London this week. Carney discusses risks to the global economy in a speech on Tuesday, while external Monetary Policy Committee member Gertjan Vlieghe will give his thoughts about the U.K. on Thursday.
Economists will also have a slew of fresh U.K. data to consider, including:
  • Fourth-quarter GDP (Monday)
  • Inflation (Wednesday)
  • RICS house prices (Thursday)
  • Retail sales (Friday)