UK Q4 Prelim GDP arrives at 0.2% q/q, bang on expectations

The UK GDP first estimate showed that the GDP figures came in at 0.2% q/q in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 0.6% seen in the third quarter, while matching the consensus forecasts.

While on an annualized basis, the UK economy’s growth rate arrived at 1.3% in Q4, missing the expectations of 1.4% while decelerating from a 1.5% previous figure.

Main Points (via Office for National Statistics)

  • In the output approach to measuring GDP, growth in the latest quarter was driven by professional, scientific, administration and support services within the services sector, while production and construction both contributed negatively to GDP growth.
  • In the expenditure approach to measuring GDP, private consumption and government consumption contributed positively, while gross capital formation and net trade contributed negatively to GDP growth.
  • Business investment decreased by 1.4% in Quarter 4 2018, the fourth consecutive quarter in which there has been a decrease in growth.
  • GDP growth was estimated to have slowed to 1.4% between 2017 and 2018, the weakest it has been since 2009.

Separately, the UK GDP monthly release showed that the economy contracted in December, coming in at -0.4% versus 0.0% expected growth and 0.2% previous.

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