GDP grows 0.2% in February as UK economy beats expectations amid Brexit uncertainty


The UK economy grew 0.2 per cent in February, outperforming the expectations of many Metropolis analysts. Over the three months to February development got here in at 0.three per cent, regardless of ongoing Brexit-related uncertainty.

Metropolis economists had forecast development would flatline in February as companies held off funding till political turmoil subsides.

Manufacturing surged 0.9 per cent in February, partly pushed by the specter of Brexit disruption which has brought about some companies to ramp up manufacturing and stockpile items.

The Workplace for Nationwide Statistics mentioned: “Following a interval of contraction, output in manufacturing and manufacturing has risen for the second month in a row, the latter pushed by home demand. Manufacturing is now at its highest degree since April 2008.”

Providers, which make up round 4 fifths of the economic system, inched up 0.1 per cent whereas building rose 0.four per cent.

Over the extra steady three-month measure, manufacturing industries grew output by 0.2 per cent and manufacturing was up 0.four per cent, the primary constructive rolling three-month development since September 2018. This was pushed by prescribed drugs, meals, drinks and chemical substances, though it was partially offset by a fall in automobile manufacturing.

The ONS’s head of GDP, Rob Kent-Smith, mentioned: “GDP development remained modest within the newest three months. Providers once more drove the economic system, with a continued sturdy efficiency in IT.

“Manufacturing additionally continued to recuperate after weak spot on the finish of final 12 months with the often-erratic pharmaceutical business, chemical substances and alcohol performing properly in current months.”

Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist as Capital Economics mentioned the info indicated that Britain had weathered the Brexit storm properly.

“Development did not seem to have been considerably boosted by stockpiling forward of Brexit,” Ms Gregory mentioned. 

“In quantity phrases, actual imports rose by 5.three per cent within the three months to February. Actual exports rose by simply 0.eight per cent, suggesting that whereas companies have been stockbuilding, they’ve been primarily doing so by importing extra from abroad. So the online increase to GDP development from stockbuilding is prone to have been small.

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