UK Economy Grows 0.6% In Q4 Despite Brexit Concerns
Despite fears the UK’s decision to leave the EU would cause economic upset, the economy actually grew 2% in 2016
The UK economy grew 0.6% in Q4, despite fears the UK’s decision to leave the EU would slow growth.
According to the ONS, economic growth between October and December 2016 was identical to the two previous quarters, with the economy growing by 2% in 2016 – compared to 2.2% in 2015.
Strong performances by the services and retail sectors were cited as being the main reason behind the surprising results, with the former growing by 0.8% in the last quarter.
The manufacturing industry also bounced back from a slow Q3, with its quarterly growth figure of 0.7% slightly better than the 0.5% rate most economists had expected.
The figures also showed that the construction industry grew by 0.1% and agriculture by 0.4%, while industrial production was unchanged.
Paul Goodman, chairman of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), said:
“Today’s strong growth figures rebuff the economic portents of doom that many were predicting in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. The services sector continues to fuel this growth, which tallies with what our commercial brokers have been seeing on the ground.
“In October, business mortgage enquiries to the NACFB more than doubled on the previous year as restaurateurs, bar-owners and other high street businesses hunted out shop-fronts to take advantage of this high street boom.
“Not only is this a good indication of the flourishing retail sector, but an increase in business mortgage lending levels is a solid litmus test of business’ long-term confidence in the economy. These figures are a shot in the arm for business and set a bullish tone for the year to come – as long as access to finance is readily available.”