Wednesday, July 27, 2016

UK Economy grew strongly in Q2

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the Britisb economy grow by 0.6% in the three months to the end of June 2016, up from 0.4% in the previous quarter.

On an annual basis, growth was 2.2%, helped by a surge in manufacturing.

ONS chief economist Joe Grice said: "Continued strong growth across services, particularly in retailing, reinforced by healthy growth in the manufacture of cars and pharmaceuticals, boosted output in the second quarter."
Manufacturing output grew at 2.1% in the quarter, which was its "best gain since 1999", said Neil Wilson, an analyst at ETX Capital.

The services sector, the largest part of the UK economy, grew 0.5%, while construction and agriculture fell 0.4% and 1% respectively.

Economic growth was strongest in April before easing off in May and June, the ONS figures show.

These figures say NOTHING either way about the merits of the decision to leave the EU.

Only the last week of the three month period to which these figures relate was after the referendum.

The statement from ONS today does appear to disprove the suggestion which some people had made before the referendum that Brexit uncertainties were already affecting the level of activity in the economy. In the light of these figures that does not appear to have been a serious problem. However, given that most people on both sides expected "Remain" to win, this does not say anything either way about what will happen now. Joe Grice added that

"Any uncertainties in the run-up to the referendum seem to have had a limited effect. Very few respondents to ONS surveys cited such uncertainties as negatively impacting their businesses."

Like the employment figures released a few days ago, today's figures are good news because they show that at the time of the referendum the UK economy was in good shape and heading in the right direction. It is far too early for those who were on either side to use these numbers to justify their stance. People on both sides would be better employed using their energies to make sure that Brexit works for all of us.


Jim said...
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Jim said...

"People on both sides would be better employed using their energies to make sure that Brexit works for all of us."

That is exactly what people like us have been trying to do for months and months

Chris Whiteside said...

I accept that, Jim. Unfortunately there are some people on both sides who are still re-fighting the referendum and jumping in to score points which the figures do not yet justify.