New economic data out this week is expected to show the continued resilience of the UK at the end of 2016.
Fourth-quarter purchasing managers’ index (PMI) figures for manufacturing are due to be released on Tuesday, followed by PMI data for construction on Wednesday and the service sector on Thursday.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said the different surveys are “expected to indicate that the UK economy continued to hold up pretty well at the end of 2016”.
He added: “Indeed, we believe GDP growth could well have come in around 0.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter, which would only be slightly down from expansion of 0.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter in both the third and second quarters.”
Vicky Pryce, chief economic adviser at the Centre for Economic and Business Reform (CEBR), expects improved PMI data for services and construction, while she suggested manufacturing figures may be down slightly.
Over the year as a whole, Pryce said she expects a slowdown for the UK economy. “That slowdown will be even more marked around the time of triggering Article 50 and beyond,” she told City A.M. “Unless there is some serious clarity ahead in terms of where we may be going, and that clarity is actually a benign clarity.”
Chris Bailey, European strategist at Raymond James Investment Services, told City A.M.: “Ultimately [the PMI data is] not going to be too bad, because the weakness of the pound provides export opportunities for UK manufacturers.”