Economic Indicators January 2019 Briefing Paper

Economic Indicators January 2019 Briefing Paper

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The economic data for the final quarter of 2018 provided mixed news. While employment levels continue to rise, economic growth weakened in the final quarter of 2018.

Quarterly GDP growth in Q4 2018 was just 0.2%, with particular weaknesses in car and steel production, and construction.

Growth across the whole year was 1.4%, which is the lowest it has been for six years. Growth was subdued in all sectors in 2018:

• The services sector grew by 1.7%, the lowest growth since 2011.
• The production sector, which includes manufacturing, grew by 0.7%, the lowest growth since 2013.
• The construction sector grew by 0.6%, the lowest growth since 2012.

Prior to the publication of this latest data, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) published its February Inflation Report. Within this report, the MPC indicated that it expected the subdued growth to continue into 2019, cutting its GDP forecast for 2019 from 1.7% to 1.2%.

It should be noted that the economic growth seen in the UK in 2018 was higher than growth seen in various other countries. In the year to Q4 2018, the UK grew by 1.3%. This was slightly higher than growth in the Eurozone (1.2%), and was higher than growth in Germany (0.6%) and France (0.9%).

Derived from House of Commons Library on Economic Indicators, January 2019 Briefing Paper 8506 Copyright: Open Government Licence v3.0

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