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Credit agency warns of property price falls, unemployment doubling and inflation spiking in latest grim forecast.

Britain’s economy will suffer rising unemployment and falling household incomes that would trigger a recession should Theresa May fail to secure a deal to prevent the UK crashing out of the European Union next year, according to analysis by the global rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

Property prices would slump and inflation would spike to more than 5% in a scenario that S&P said had become more likely in recent months following deadlock with Brussels over a post-Brexit deal.

In a warning that included a possible downgrade to the UK’s credit rating, which would bring with it an increase in the Treasury’s borrowing costs, S&P said it still expected both sides in the Brexit talks to come to an agreement before next March, when the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union.

But it warned that the chance of a “no-deal” Brexit had risen in recent months to such an extent that it needed to warn international investors about the potential challenges ahead.

The S&P report said:

  • Unemployment would rise from current all-time low of 4% to 7.4% by 2020 – a rate last seen in the aftermath of the financial crisis;

  • house prices would likely fall by 10% over two years;

  • household incomes would be £2,700 lower a year after leaving without a deal;

  • inflation would rise, peaking at 4.7% in mid-2019;

  • London office prices could fall by 20% over two to three years, similar to the decline following the 2008 financial crash.

Negotiations with the EU are about to enter the final few weeks, and while May has said an agreement is 95% complete, crucial areas, including the fate of the Northern Ireland border, remain unresolved.

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