United Kingdom

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Until the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, its economy was one of the fastest growing in the developed world. That was despite sluggish growth in the Eurozone, its main trading partner. Since then, however, output has grown at a moderate pace, weighed down by a slowdown in business investment, consumption, domestic demand, potential growth, capital accumulation, net migration from the EU, and productivity. That said, external demand and a weaker sterling supported exports until the Covid-19 crisis occurred.

Because the government waited before implementing restriction measures, the pandemic spread rapidly throughout the UK and the lockdown that was finally imposed was particularly long. The recession was extremely severe (GDP down 9.8% in 2020).

After a long and painful negotiation with the European Union (EU), the UK actually left the single market on 1st January 2021; achieving the so-called Brexit process. Although the EU and the UK managed to avoid customs duties, the return of non-tariff barriers dampened trade volumes. Besides, the UK has reached a wide range of bilateral deals with other trading part.