UK economy sees weak growth in Q4 2017

The UK economy saw lower growth than anticipated in Q4 2017, according to official figures reported by BBC News.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that GDP grew by 0.4% in October to December, whereas growth of 0.5% had been anticipated. The lower figure was due to slower growth in production industries, according to the ONS.

Across 2017 the UK economy grew 1.7%, which was also lower than predictions and the worst performance since 2012. The ONS had predicted growth of 1.8% for 2017.

In 2017 household spending grew 1.8%, the slowest annual growth rate since 2012. A key factor in this slowdown was inflation in retail prices. Another factor was the closure of the Forties pipeline system for much of December 2017, which cost the economy around £20m a day in lost economic activity according to Oil and Gas UK.

Chris Williamson, IHS Markit’s chief economist, said some parts of the UK economy appeared ‘worryingly weak’ towards the end of last year, with the construction industry in recession, stagnant business investment and only small increases in household spending.

The UK’s year-on-year growth in Q4 2017 was 1.4%, the lowest among the world’s wealthy nations. The UK is also experiencing slower growth than the Eurozone.