MANCHESTER: The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), Britain’s oldest independent research institute, said on Wednesday it believes gross domestic product in the UK rose by 0.6% in the fourth quarter.
Britain’s monthly growth rates have lagged those of the eurozone and US so far in 2017, yet the Bank of England has felt confident enough in its resilience to begin the process of gradual interest rate hikes, starting with a quarter point rise in November.
After rising 0.3% in the first and second quarter, UK GDP rose by 0.4% in the July-September period. A rise of 0.6% in the final three months would be the strongest rate of quarterly growth since the 0.7% seen in the final quarter of 2016.
Based on a quarterly rate of 0.6% in the final three months, the UK economy likely expanded by an annual rate of 1.8% in 2017, economists at NIESR said.
Amit Kara, head of UK macroeconomic forecasting at NIESR, said: “Economic growth has picked up in the second half of 2017 after a period of subdued growth in the first six months.
“The recovery has been driven by both the manufacturing and the service sectors, supported by the weaker pound and a buoyant global economy.”