Europe & Russia: Economic overview

April 2017

The Brexit process has started and now both the UK and France are preparing major elections.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered Article 50 on 29 March to begin the country’s exit from the EU. However, the UK’s plan to broker the terms of Brexit while simultaneously engaging in trade negotiations was almost immediately rejected by senior EU figures, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The uncertainty over whether the UK will be able to access the EU’s single market is just one of the factors weighing on the country’s economic outlook. Prime Minister May has also called a snap general election on 8 June, potentially increasing uncertainty around Brexit. The UK’s GDP growth is forecast to weaken this year and next. After growing by 2.0% last year, the country’s economy is expected to expand by 1.5% this year and 1.2% in 2018.