ECONOMISTS’ VIEWS: DID THE UK ECONOMY CONTRACT AT THE END OF LAST YEAR?

HOWARD ARCHER | IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT
“On balance, we would say that the risks are to the downside to our forecast of flat activity. However, it is not inconceivable that the economy eked out marginal growth helped by decent consumer spending in December.”

NIDA ALI | ERNST & YOUNG ITEM CLUB
“October’s strong retail figures didn’t stop a sharp decline in services output in that month. We expect the ONS to report that GDP fell by 0.2 per cent in quarter four; the first leg of a short technical recession.”

BRIAN HILLIARD | SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE
“Retail sales data shows a significant bounce but is actually a bit weaker than we expected. Therefore it does not lead us to alter our forecast that GDP will have fallen by 0.1 per cent in quarter four.”