Niesr: UK GDP grew by 0.6 per cent in the three months to the end of February

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Niesr's numbers differ from those published by the OBR this week (Source: Getty)

The UK economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the three months to the end of February, according to the latest estimates from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr).

This follows GDP growth of 0.8 per cent in the three months ending in January. Niesr has projected GDP growth of two per cent in 2016, and 1.7 per cent in 2017.

Niesr's numbers are out of sync with those of the government's forecasts. The Office for Budget Responsibility has projected GDP will grow two per cent in 2017, and then slow to 1.6 per cent next year.

Meanwhile, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) upgraded its UK growth forecasts earlier this week, and now estimates GDP will grow by 1.6 per cent in 2017, compared with its previous prediction of one per cent.

"Our estimates suggest the economy expanded by 0.6 per cent in the three months ending in February 2017," said Rebecca Piggott, research fellow at Niesr.

"Robust consumer spending growth has supported the economic expansion throughout 2016, but there are now signs that this support is beginning to soften. Consumer price inflation is expected to continue to increase throughout the rest of 2017, further reducing the contribution from consumer spending to economic growth."

A key question is by how much and over what period of time this domestic economic weakness can be offset via contributions of net trade.

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