27/01/2017 - UK's Growth Surpasses Expectations


Yesterday’s GDP release showed that the British economy continued it’s momentum at the end of 2016, with a better-than-expected set of growth figures for the fourth quarter. The UK's gross domestic product expanded by 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to December, the same rate of growth as the previous two quarters. Analysts had been predicting a 0.5 percent rise for the fourth quarter.

Finance Minister Philip Hammond said that the latest GDP figures highlighted the "fundamental strength and resilience of the U.K. economy". Hammond did however caution that some uncertainty could lie ahead as the country adjusts to its new relationship with the EU.

A closer look at the figures showed that the services sector was seen as a key contributor to the growth figures, with a 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter increase. Manufacturing also delivered strong growth numbers, rising 0.7 percent. However, production and construction output remained relatively flat.

The government has published draft legislation that will allow the UK to start the process of leaving the EU. The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has been produced, following the Supreme Court ruling that legislation would be necessary. Government was forced to draw up the legislation after losing an appeal at the Supreme Court earlier this week, when judges ruled that Parliament must give permission to start the Brexit process. The bill is due to be initially debated by MPs on Tuesday next week, and clear the Commons on the 8th of February, after which it will move to the House of Lords.

The Bill states that it’s aim is to “confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under article 50(2) of the treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU”. Prime Minister Theresa May has also announced that the government will set out more details of its Brexit plans in a formal policy document.

Key Announcements

13:30 – US : Advance GDP q/q, expected at 2.1% against a previous of 3.5%

13:30 – US : Core Durable Goods Orders m/m, expected at 0.5% against a previous of 0.6%