UK IntelligenceUK Statistics

Monthly economic commentary: Feb 2017

Provides analysis of the latest estimate of GDP and economic commentary for prices, short-term indicators and labour market indicators to complement theme day economic commentary.

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Table of contents

  1. Main points
  2. Statistician’s comment
  3. Changes to publication schedule for economic statistics
  4. The second estimate of GDP shows that the UK economy grew by 0.7% in Quarter 4 2016, revised up by 0.1 percentage points from the preliminary estimate
  5. Services output remained the largest driver of growth, with transport, storage and communication important contributors to monthly growth in December 2016
  6. Production activity increased 1.2% during 2016 due to increased manufacturing output
  7. The effect of sterling depreciation on the balance of trade and trade remains unclear
  8. GDP growth continues to be driven by private consumption while the contribution from investment was weaker
  9. Quarterly profits grew at the fastest rate for 2 years
  10. Consumer prices rose in the UK and other developed countries with higher oil prices a contributing factor
  11. House prices in London have grown around twice as fast as in Great Britain as a whole since 2011
  12. UK economy continues to add jobs in the 3 months ending December 2016, but the increase is smaller than the recent past
  13. The labour market shows continued strength
  14. A pick-up in consumer price inflation erodes growth in wages

 

Main points

  • Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.7% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2016, revised up by 0.1 percentage points from the preliminary estimate.
  • Production activity increased 1.2% during 2016 due to increased manufacturing output.
  • Quarterly profits grew at the fastest rate for 2 years.
  • Consumer prices have risen in the UK and other developed countries in 2016 with higher oil prices a contributing factor.
  • House prices in London have grown around twice as fast as in Great Britain as a whole since 2011.
  • The labour market shows continued strength with unemployment at 4.8% in Quarter 4 2016; however, the proportion of part-time workers who want to work full-time remains above the pre-downturn average.
Statistician’s comment

Commenting on today’s GDP figures, Head of GDP Darren Morgan said:

“The economy grew slightly more in the last three months of 2016 than previously thought, mainly due to a stronger performance from manufacturing.

“Overall, the dominant services sector continued to grow steadily, due in part to continued growth in consumer spending, although retail showed some signs of weakness in the last couple of months of 2016, which has continued into January 2017.”

Changes to publication schedule for economic statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) introduced its new economic “theme days” in January, which will ensure that related economic statistics are released together.

This article provides a summary of the data and economic commentary released on each theme day alongside a particular focus on the latest GDP estimate and trends beneath the headline statistics.

READ MORE OF THIS REPORT

Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.

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