June 10, 2019 / 6:42 PM / 8 months ago

BoE's Saunders says April GDP data weak but not unexpected

SOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) - British economic data for April was weak but not unexpected after a first-quarter boost to the economy from stockbuilding ahead of Brexit, Bank of England policymaker Michael Saunders said on Monday.

“The anecdotal evidence has been of inventories piling up in warehouses, car parks, everywhere. And what we had in the April data was that unwound. Our internal forecast had been of pretty soft numbers in April, and the April numbers were weak,” Saunders said in a question and answer session for businesses.

Saunders said he expected growth to recover as carmakers had restarted operations that they suspended due to anticipated disruption around March 29, the date Britain was due to leave the European Union. It has now been delayed to October 31.

Official data earlier on Monday showed Britain’s economy shrank by 0.4% in April, the biggest drop since 2016, after a record fall in car production.

Reporting by David Milliken, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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