UK Economic Growth Picks Up

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The British economy improved during the second quarter, with figures from the Office for National Statistics showing GDP grew by 0.4%.

Rolling three-month growth increased by 0.4%, up from 0.1% in the three months to May. However, growth still remains below the quarterly average for 2017 of 1.1%.

United Kingdom economic growth doubled in the second quarter driven by stronger growth in both services and construction sectors, first quarterly estimate from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

But news that the economy recovered from its winter slump is likely to reassure Bank of England policymakers who last week raised interest rates to a new post-financial crisis high of 0.75 percent despite concerns about the approach of Brexit.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the Bank of England will be relieved at the figures, avoiding "egg on its face" after its decision to raise interest rates last week. This was driven by a 0.9% fall in manufacturing and a 2.7% fall in energy supply, while mining and quarrying, and waste management production both rose by 0.7% and 1.9% respectively.

Jeffrey: Is ONS data reflecting "true" economic activity?

"Even with some acceleration, the economy is far from its peak".

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"However, it is not all doom and gloom".

However, putting a slight dampener on the results and limiting gains in the pound was an accompanying warning from the ONS suggesting that "the underlying trend in real GDP is one of slowing growth". Of course, Brexit-related uncertainties could intensify over the coming months, if the European Union negotiations stall or if Brexit turmoil results in a general election.

How can governments keep all the balls in the air?

Anthony Gillham, Quilter Investors head of investment, said: "There is an important distinction to be made here - the economy is growing faster than it did in the first quarter, but it is still playing catch-up". Over the medium term, United Kingdom growth has been thoroughly unspectacular, with the domestic economy expanding at a slower pace than most developed countries.

The Lira fell 5 per cent to a new all-time low against the United States dollar on Friday morning, accentuating these fears and unsettling the euro.

"The UK finds itself in a hard situation where the Bank of England is hiking rates to try and keep a lid on import costs that drive up inflation, but it is doing so against the backdrop of weak economic growth".

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