Monthly Economic Review – March 2017

  • UK GDP Growth for Q4 upgraded to 0.7%

(Based on February 2017 data releases)

Monthly headlines:

  • UK GDP growth for Q4 upgraded to 0.7%, but growth for 2016 revised down to 4-year low
  • UK retail sales weakens further as inflation continues to rise and earnings growth slows
  • German GDP growth picks-up in Q4 as Greece’s economy shrinks

The second official estimate for Q4 2016 UK economic growth (GDP) stood at 0.7%, which was up from the previous estimate of 0.6% and is the fastest rate of growth since Q4 2015.  Overall the latest GDP estimate confirmation that the UK economy enjoyed a solid end to 2016.   Although the UK economy enjoyed a strong end to 2016, higher inflation is an increasing challenge for businesses as well as consumers.

Retail sales continued to declined and fell by 0.4% in January.  Rising prices in fuel and food are significant factors in the slow down with average store prices rising by 1.9% on the year.

The Eurozone GDP growth remains mixed.  The biggest economy is German, which grew by 0.7% in Q4, whilst the economies of Finland and Greece contracted.  Whilst the Eurozone is likely to grow at a reasonable rate there are concerns over the southern European economies and broad political uncertainty could also weigh on their growth prospects.

For full details of this month’s economic review click here.

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