The latest on the GDP figures
Commenting on the Office for National Statistics’ release of the Second Estimate of GDP for Q2 2017 today, Christian Spence, head of research and policy at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:
“Today’s data is unchanged from the first estimate, confirming that the UK economy has slowed down over the past few months, and that growth remains dependent on the services sector. Business investment for Q2 is flat compared to the first quarter of the year and early estimates suggest that the services sector itself, along with household spending, is slowing in the more recent data.
“For now, growth remains in line with our current forecasts for 1.6% for 2017 which we expect to slow to 1.5% in 2018. Whilst we believe that more locally, the Greater Manchester economy remains well placed to outpace national growth at around 3.25% this year, there remain material downside risks to the UK economy overall. Household spending is likely to be further constrained over the coming year because of higher inflation and real-terms pay reductions, and softer business investment levels will likely lead to softer growth in the future, though may support higher employment in the short-term.
“The government’s position on Brexit has become more pragmatic over recent weeks and we welcome this shifting of position, particularly with respect to court jurisdiction. However, there is still significant progress to be made before business will feel comfortable about the UK’s future path and relationship within this process, and government must accelerate its own position of providing clarity on its negotiating aims; its current position papers provide for too little certainty on its own desires.”