UK GDP growth for Q2 remains at 0.3% in second estimate

Screen Shot 2017 08 24

The central bank governor said the unpredictable nature of Brexit was weighing on supply and demand, with some companies already delaying decisions about entering new markets.

While it expects growth in household consumption to slow to 1.75 percent this year as inflation approaches 3 percent, it forecast export volumes would rise by 3.5 percent and business investment would rise by 1 percent.

However, Hawksworth said he doesn't think this slowdown will turn into a recession, given that "employment growth remains reasonably strong and government spending is now cushioning some of the blow to business confidence from Brexit".

"If a transition agreement looks increasingly likely as the year progresses, this should be supportive to investment", he said.

The gross domestic product of the euro area's largest economy grew by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter over the three months to June, according to the Ministry of Finance, confirming an earlier estimate.

These figures confirmed the first estimate of growth released in July.

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Growth in GDP was mostly driven by investment in housing and government spending.

"In fact, with exporters opting to increase profit margins at the expense of export volumes, net trade has depressed GDP by around 0.5 percentage points since last June's decision to leave the European Union", said economist Joanna Davies at Fathom Consulting.

The slowdown in household spending was mainly due to a 2.2 per cent decline in spending on transport. The increased VED on high-polluting vehicles (which came into force in April 2017) led to consumers bringing forward planned new auto purchases into Quarter 1 leading to a subsequent fall-off in purchases in the latest quarter. This corresponds with reports from the society of motor manufacturers and traders (SMMT) that sales of new cars increased in Quarter 1, followed by a decline in the new auto market in Quarter 2, as a result of changes to Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). He said that this indicated the "dip was probably temporary".

Spanish GDP growth, which was also confirmed today, came in three times higher than the United Kingdom at 0.9 per cent in the second quarter.

"GDP growth has slowed markedly in the first half of the year with relatively robust services growth, partly thanks to a booming film industry, offset by weak performances from manufacturing and construction in the second quarter", Darren Morgan, the ONS' head of GDP said in a statement.

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