Britons Saw Living Standards Fall in Year of Brexit Referendum

(Bloomberg) -- British households saved less of their incomes than previously estimated in the year of the Brexit referendum as living standards fell.

The saving ratio fell to 6.6 percent in 2016, then the lowest since 1971, instead of 7 percent, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday. Disposable incomes adjusted for inflation dropped 0.2 percent, the first decline since 2011. They were previously estimated to be unchanged.

The revisions are the result of a widespread review of data going back to 1997, to be published on June 29. The changes do not cover 2017, when the saving ratio fell to a record-low 4.9 percent and real incomes barely grew after the vote to leave the European Union sank the pound and stoked inflation.

The figures also show the U.K. was less of a net borrower than previously estimated following an average downward revision of 3.4 billion pounds a year between 1997 and 2016.

A narrower-than-previously-estimated trade deficit saw the current-account deficit in 2016 revised down to 5.2 percent of gross domestic product from 5.8 percent, though it remains the largest shortfall since comparable records began in 1948.

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