Employment and business

UK economy growth hit one-year high in final quarter of last year

Canary Wharf after sunset. Image: Aleem Yousaf

Canary Wharf after sunset. Image: Aleem Yousaf Creative Commons.

The Office for National Statistics has published figures showing Britain’s economy grew at the fastest rate in a year in the final three months of 2016.

The rise was up 0.7%, from an initial estimate of 0.6%.

However, growth for the whole year was weaker than previously thought and data has suggested that June’s Brexit vote will start to take its toll in 2017.

Business investment in the fourth quarter slowed by 1.0%, with household spending increasing by 0.7%

That’s down from 0.9% in the July-September period.

The Bank of England has said that it expects overall growth of 2.0% in 2017, but also expects increasing pressure on consumers as inflation rises.

Inflation is being driven by a weak pound following the EU referendum result.

The BoE is in no hurry to raise interest rates given the uncertainty that lies ahead.

The business squeeze is likely continue as Britain begins negotiations for leaving the EU, a process due to begin in March.

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