UK economy grows more than expected in 2017

Gross domestic product growth stood at 1.8 percent in 2017, the Office for National Statistics said in a revised estimate.

UK economy grows more than expected in 2017

World Bulletin / News Desk

Britain's economy expanded last year by more than previously thought according to official data published on Thursday, one year before the nation exits the European Union.

The ONS had pegged GDP growth at 1.7 percent last year in the prior estimate.

That still marked a slowdown from an expansion of 1.9 percent in 2016, and after 2.3 percent in 2015.

Last year's figure still remains the lowest level of UK annual growth since 2012, as Brexit uncertainty continues to hamper economic activity according to analysts.

Britain is scheduled to depart from the European Union on March 30, 2019.

The ONS added Thursday that the UK economy expanded by 0.4 percent in the final three months of 2017, confirming its prior guidance.

"With a year to go until Brexit there were no surprises with today’s GDP reading for the final quarter of 2017 and it is unlikely to have an impact on the pound, nor the Bank of England's view on raising interest rates in May," noted analyst Dennis de Jong at trading site UFX.

"The UK economy has perked up recently thanks to greater clarity over Brexit plans, particularly the thorny issue of the Irish border, and fourth-quarter total business investment came in significantly higher than expected."

British inflation had however shot higher last year as a drop in the pound after the shock 2016 Brexit referendum resulted in higher import costs.

Last Mod: 29 Mart 2018, 12:31
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