LONDON (Reuters) – Britain loved its quickest financial upturn since late 2016 throughout the third quarter, spurred by a surge in shopper spending over the new summer time and the soccer World Cup, which now seems to be tailing off forward of Brexit.
The economic system expanded zero.6 % within the three months to September, matching the consensus forecast in a Reuters ballot of economists and accelerating from zero.four % the quarter earlier than, the Office for National Statistics stated on Friday.
Britain’s development outpaced the euro zone’s by a big margin over the quarter, and finance minister Philip Hammond stated the figures confirmed the underlying energy of the economic system.
Still, analysts stated there have been worrying alerts for the months forward, regardless of better-than-expected commerce knowledge.
Business funding unexpectedly fell 1.2 %, the most important drop since early 2016, including to indicators of rising warning amongst corporations forward of Britain’s scheduled departure from the European Union in March.
“Looking beneath the surface, the uptick is skewed by the summer’s buoyant, World Cup-fueled retail activity,” stated Tej Parikh, senior economist on the Institute of Directors.
“With order books weakening and major hiring and investment decisions being held back, business activity looks set to lose steam in the coming quarters.”
In September alone, Britain’s economic system stagnated for a second month working, in contrast with forecasts for a zero.1 % enlargement, whereas the annual development price held at 1.5 %.
Sterling and British government bonds confirmed little response to the information, which have been largely as anticipated.
SLIPPING DOWN THE RANKINGS
The figures confirmed web commerce contributed zero.eight proportion factors to the financial development price within the third quarter, the most important enhance since early 2016, as automotive imports dropped sharply — tallying with weak automotive gross sales knowledge.
Household spending remained strong, increasing zero.5 % after a zero.four % rise within the second quarter.
Surveys of corporations over the past month recommend development appears prone to lose momentum within the ultimate months of 2018, because the seasonal spending enhance from elevated consuming and consuming fades away.
A Reuters ballot of economists printed on Friday urged development within the fourth quarter would decline to zero.three %, a view shared by the Bank of England.
Britain’s development slowed after the June 2016 Brexit vote, its annual price slipping from high spot among the many Group of Seven group of wealthy nations to jostling with long-term laggards Japan and Italy for final place.
Consumers specifically have been squeezed by the bounce in inflation that adopted the pound’s tumble after the referendum, particularly as wages have did not sustain.
On Thursday, the European Commission forecast Britain would rank joint-bottom with Italy for financial development amongst EU nations in 2019.
Reporting by Andy Bruce and Alistair Smout; Editing by Kevin Liffey