ONS warns of investment slump as UK GDP growth confirmed

The UK economy grew by a confirmed 0.7% in the final quarter of 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

ONS warns of investment slump as UK GDP growth confirmed


However, the ONS warned of “a slowdown within business investment which fell by 0.9% driven by falls within the other buildings and structures and transport equipment assets.”

It added that this is a slightly improved picture from the second estimate of GDP, being revised up by 0.1 percentage points.

Shilen Shah, bond strategist at Investec Wealth & Investment, said the final estimate confirmed that the UK economy ended the year with some momentum, though pointed out the year-on-year was marginally weaker than the consensus with a print of 1.9% versus a consensus estimate of 2%.

“The uncertainty created by Brexit led to some weakness in business investment during the quarter, however the weakness in sterling did lead to an improvement in the current account, with the trade component leading the charge,” he said.

David Absolon, investment director at Heartwood Investment Management, said: “GDP growth came in as expected but the slowdown in consumer spending was noteworthy at 0.7% – the slowest rate of growth in a year – and 0.4% when adjusted for inflation.

“This outcome is not surprising and remains consistent with our view that inflation pressures will squeeze real incomes as we move through the year.”



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