ANALYST VIEWS: SHOULD WE TAKE THE GDP FIGURE AT FACE VALUE?

ANDREW GOODWIN | ERNST & YOUNG ITEM CLUB
We find it difficult to believe the economy is really as weak as these figures suggest. This view quite simply does not square with what survey indicators are telling us. The ONS has little hard data to base this first release on, so we see the prospect of some major revisions.

PHILIP SHAW | INVESTEC
The ONS’ estimates for services look strangely soft and out of kilter with firmer survey evidence and relatively robust retail sales figures. We are of the view that today’s GDP numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt – but they increase uncertainty over the economy.

MICHAEL SAUNDERS | CITI
We suspect that the economy’s underlying momentum in the fourth quarter was nothing like as weak as the headline drop in GDP implies. The UK produces GDP figures earlier than most other countries, and has a tendency to revise the figures quite sharply. The same may happen again.