Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
We got a worrying glimpse into Britain’s economic future yesterday. Philip Hammond’s autumn budget came laced with growth downgrades, forcing another £90bn of borrowing over the next few years.
As feared, the experts at the Office for Budget Responsibility threw in the towel over the health of the UK economy, conceding that we won’t return to the pre-crisis productivity growth of around 2% per year.
Productivity growth is now expected to only average 1.4% – including just 0.9% this year. A dire outlook.
Economist and politicians will continue to probe the budget today, kicking the tires of policies such as the (criticised) stamp duty reform for first time buyers, (limited) universal credit changes and the rise in the personal tax allowance (which will benefit high earners the most).
Britain’s economy will still be in the spotlight this morning; we’re getting the second estimate of UK growth in the third quarter of 2017. It’s likely to confirm that growth chugged along at just 0.4% in July to September.
These figures will give a better insight into the economy, showing how government spending, personal consumption and business investment changed during the quarter.
Analysts at Royal Bank of Canada say:
Today’s second estimate of UK Q3 GDP isn’t expected to result in a revision to the first estimate of 0.4% q/q expansion. Since that preliminary estimate, the incoming information has revealed industrial production to have been stronger than initially thought and construction to be even weaker.
The expenditure breakdown becomes available on this occasion. The contribution of consumer spending has been weakening in 2017 and, having seen some of the early indicators of retail activity for October coming in on the soft side, we would caution against reading too much into any potential improvement in Q3 as far as consumption is concerned.
In the City, energy firm Centrica, wine supplier Majestic Wine and retailer Mothercare are all reporting results.
Plus, fresh data will show how Europe’s private sector and Britain’s shops are faring this month.
9am: Flash estimate of eurozone private sector growth this month,
9.30am: Second estimate of UK GDP in the third quarter of 2017
11am: CBI survey of UK retail sales in November