LONSDON (Dispatches) - The UK economy saw no growth in the final three months of 2019, as manufacturing contracted for the third quarter in a row and the service sector slowed around the time of the election.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the car industry had seen a particularly weak quarter.
The ONS figures also showed the economy grew by 1.4% in 2019, marginally higher than the 1.3% rate in 2018.
Recent surveys have suggested that the economy has picked up in the new year.
Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, suggested that the flat growth seen at the end of the year would "prove to be a low point”.
She added: "The pick-up in the surveys of activity and sentiment suggest the first quarter will be much better.
"The GDP figures were not quite as bad as we had feared in quarter four. The stagnation in GDP beat our forecast of a 0.1% quarter-on-quarter fall.”
In December alone the economy grew by 0.3%, the ONS said, reversing the decline seen previously in November.