The year 2017 final financial figures are in and officials say the GDP of the UK economy grew by a paltry 0.4% in the last three months of the fourth quarter. Previously, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) had stated that they believed the economy would have grown at a rate of 0.5% The revised decreased rate of growth was largely attributed to a lower gain in the production industries. Overall the national economy grew at a rate of 1.7% for the year. This figure is the lowest since 2012.
Experts attribute the shutdown of the Forties pipeline system for most of December 2017 as a major contributor to the revised decrease in economic prosperity. Other factors include a stifled business investment scene, a perceived construction recession, stagnate wage growth, and concerns over rising inflation. A slowdown in household spending, as well as higher prices on consumer goods, was attributed to the inflation worries. The 1.4% year-on-year rate of growth in the last quarter of the year lands the UK as the slowest growing economy among the world’s wealthiest countries, behind both Italy and Japan.
The Bank of England is encouraged by future growth forecasts and has raised their prediction of economic output to increase to 1.8% overall for the upcoming year. Assuming this growth comes to fruition, the Bank has indicated that interest rate hikes could accelerate given this economic trajectory.