Quarterly economic briefing - April 2018

In the UK, the turbulent economic and political environment has continued to negatively impact business confidence in the past quarter. While the economy has slightly more momentum due to the strength of the global economy, growth is projected to remain modest throughout 2018. 

The briefing provides a focused assessment of a small number of key national and international economic trends to help inform and shape plans and investment decisions as well as help to identify new opportunities.

Modest growth

GDP was estimated to have increased by 0.4% between Quarter 3 (July to September) and Quarter 4 (October to December) 2017. The UK Quarter 4 growth of 0.4% was lower than the EU28 average of 0.6%

Interest rate rise expected

In the latest meeting the members of the MPC voted to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.5%. The governor of the Bank of England has since said that an interest rate rise is likely to take place this year, albeit gradual.

Mixed picture for pound

The pound reached a post-referendum high against the US dollar in April, but remains well below its pre-referendum levels against the Euro.

Inflation dips slightly but remains high

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month rate was 2.3% in March 2018. This fell slightly on February’s rate of 2.5%.

Record low unemployment

The unemployment rate was 4.2%, down from 4.7% for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975.

The key economic indicators covered in this report are:

  • GDP growth
  • GDP forecasts
  • Interest rates
  • Inflation
  • Unemployment
  • Investment
  • Productivity
  • Exchange rates
  • UK Trade
  • Industry views
  • Regional outlook

Download the briefing for a short overview of the current trends along with a brief analysis of what it means for businesses. We have also included an overview of the latest government and political situation. We hope that these provide additional insight and context.

We'd like to hear your thoughts on this briefing. To discuss please contact Rob Turner

The next quarterly economic briefing will be published in July 2018.

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