Strong growth for UK economy in final quarter of 2017

The UK economy grew much faster than expected in the final quarter (Q4) of 2017, new data has revealed.

According to figures from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR), UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.6 per cent in Q4 – a 0.1 per cent improvement over forecasts set out earlier in the year.

Quarter-on-quarter, growth was up by 0.2 per cent.

Based on this data, the NIESR has estimated that the UK economy expanded by approximately 1.8 per cent over the course of the year.

The report suggests that growth was predominantly driven by manufacturing.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, manufacturing expanded by 0.4 per cent, while ‘industrial production’, which comprises manufacturing, energy and mining output, grew by 1.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, manufacturing growth’s Q4 average showed that output was an impressive 3.9 per cent higher than figures recorded during the same period the previous year.

Ole Black, of the Office for National Statistics, said that growth had been “strong and widespread” across the manufacturing and renewable energy sectors throughout Q4.

Commenting on the data as a whole, Amit Kata, Head of UK Macroeconomic Forecasting at the NIESR, said: “The UK’s recovery, combined with above-target CPI inflation, is consistent with a gradual withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus.”

He added that, following the publication of the report, it is highly likely that the Bank of England will increase interest rates in May.