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The large unexpected surge in oil and gas output this year has boosted the overall economic recovery significantly. But this looks like the last hurrah for a sector of the U.K. economy in terminal decline.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. economy growth
This morning's second estimate of Q1 GDP likely will restate the preliminary estimate of a 0.4% quarter-on-quarter rise, confirming that the economic recovery has lost momentum since last year. Meanwhile, the new expenditure breakdown is set to show that growth remained extremely dependent on households and will bring more evidence that businesses held back from investing, ostensibly due to Brexit concerns.
The second estimate of Q1 GDP made for grim reading. Quarter-on-quarter GDP growth was revised down to 0.2%--the joint-slowest rate since Q4 2012--from the preliminary estimate of 0.3%.
On the face of it, the potential for a tangible boost to GDP growth from a revival in business investment after a no-deal Brexit has been averted appears modest.
Chinese industrial profits continue to surge, rising 27.7% year-over-year in September, up from 24.0% in August.
The small rise in the Markit/CIPS services PMI to 51.3 in February, from 50.1 in January, came as a relief yesterday.
The recent surge in the oil price has added to the headwinds set to batter the economy over the next year. The price of Brent crude has jumped by $10 since September to $64, its highest level since June 2015.
The 0.7% month-to-month rise in industrial production in September marked the sixth consecutive increase, a feat last achieved 23 years ago.
The recent plunge in oil prices is another positive development, alongside looser fiscal policy and the striking of a Brexit deal with the E.U., pointing to scope for GDP growth to pick up next year.
The MPC's view that the economy likely will grow at an above-trend rate over the coming quarters was challenged immediately last week by the PMIs.
The recent deceleration in households' real spending means that either business investment or net exports will have to pickup if the economy is to avoid a severe slowdown this year.
Business investment has held up better than most economists--ourselves included--expected after the Brexit vote.
The consensus expectation that industrial production rose by 1.0% month-to-month in November is far too low; we expect Wednesday's data to show a jump of 2.0% or so. The rebound, however, should not be interpreted as another sign that the economy has been revitalised by the Brexit vote. Instead, we expect the rise chiefly to reflect volatility in oil production and heating energy supply.
The consensus view that industrial production rose by a mere 0.1% month-to-month in August looks far too low; we expect today's report to reveal a jump of about 1%.
September's industrial production figures likely will not surprise markets today. We look for a 0.3% month-to-month rise in production, matching the consensus and the ONS assumption in the preliminary estimate of Q3 GDP.
Industrial production hit its stride last year, notching up eight consecutive month-to-month gains--the longest run of unbroken growth since May 1994--before a setback in December, which was triggered by the temporary closure of the Forties oil pipeline.
The Q2 GDP figures show that the economy has little underlying momentum.
The Monetary Policy Committee likely will not follow up August's stimulus measures with another rate cut at its meeting on Thursday. The partial revival in surveys of activity and confidence have weakened the case for immediate action.
Long-standing readers will know that we have been downbeat on the potential for net external trade to boost the economy following sterling's 2016 depreciation.
The combination of sluggish GDP growth in October and news that the Prime Minister will attempt to renegotiate the terms of the Brexit backstop, most likely pushing back the key vote in parliament until January, has extinguished any lingering chance that the MPC might be in a position to raise Bank Rate at its February meeting.
November's industrial production figures, released today, look set to surprise the consensus to the downside, underscoring our view that the economic recovery is continuing to lose momentum. Moreover, with sterling remaining uncompetitive, despite depreciating over recent weeks, and lower oil prices making extracting oil from the North Sea unprofitable, the industrial sector likely will impede the economic recovery further in 2016.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Industrial Production
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