Quarterly economic briefing - January 2019

With the UK economy seeing an extended period of growth, albeit slow, and potential Brexit implications dominating the news headlines it is difficult for business leaders to fully grasp the current state of the UK economy and more importantly what it means for their organisation.

Read on for 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.

GDP growth has eased

UK economic growth has eased to 0.3% in the three months between September to November. This is down from the 0.6% seen in Quarter 3 of 2018 between July to September.

Wage growth exceeds inflation

Median gross weekly earnings increased from £550 in 2017 to £569 in 2018, an increase of 3.5% or £19 more in people’s pockets each week. When accounting for inflation this represents an increase of 1.2% on the previous year.

Business investment falls

Business investment was estimated to have fallen by 1.1% between Quarter 2 and Quarter 3 in 2018. This is the third consecutive quarter-on-quarter fall in business investment. Businesses are reporting a reluctance to commit to capital investment in the short term, instead preferring to wait for more clarity on Brexit.

Trade deficit narrows slightly

In the three months to November 2018 the total UK trade deficit of goods and services narrowed by £0.2 billion to £7.9 billion as both goods and services exports each increased £0.1 billion more than respective imports.

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

The next quarterly economic briefing will be published in April 2019.