Yael Selfin, Chief Economist at KPMG in the UK, comments on today’s GDP data:
“Strong government investment helped secure a relatively happy ending to 2017 after revised fourth quarter GDP figures showed the UK economy grew at a slightly more modest pace in the final quarter of 2017, bringing UK GDP growth for the year as a whole to 1.7%.
“Despite the squeeze on household incomes, as wages failed to catch up with rising inflation, consumers did not lose their spending appetite, with consumer spending up by 0.3% during the quarter and by 1.8% during 2017. Export performance was more disappointing, with a 0.2% contraction in Q4 following a subdued Q3 despite the weak pound.
“A strong rise in government spending and investment in the final quarter of 2017 is unlikely to be followed by significant new pledges from the Chancellor in his Spring Statement next month. Instead he is expected to save any spare resources in case the UK economy requires a little extra support when it transitions from the EU at the time of Brexit. We therefore expect this 2018 to see growth somewhat weaker than in 2017.”
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Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 14,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.2 billion in the year ended 30 September 2017. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.