UK national income pushed +0.5% higher in the last quarter of 2017. The figure was slightly better than expected but still leaves UK annual growth at its lowest clip for five years. Something for both pessimists and optimists to clash on.
Either way, UK growth remains substantially behind most other first world economies and is certainly the slowest of all the G7 economies. The GDP data saw the pound spot rate drift to 1.4162 having hit more than 1.426 earlier.
Some excitement from Japan: remarks by central bank boss Haruhiko Kuroda that his country was nearing the bank’s 2% inflation goal saw the yen lift higher – coming close to its strongest level for 16 weeks – with the dollar fetching as little as 108.60 of the Japanese currency.
In Davos Bank of England governor Mark Carney made clear any rise in interest rates would depend closely on Brexit progress. Carney also gave Chancellor Philip Hammond some back-handed support, saying the UK economy would benefit from a “deeper” relationship with the EU.
The FTSE 100 was up almost 50 points tonight at 7,665.54 with Next shares getting a +3% boost while Mediclinic Int saw a similar swing though listing in the opposite direction.
- UK FTSE 100 7,665 +0.65%
- DAX 13,334.09 +0.27%
- CAC 40 5,531.95 +0.93%
- Euro Stoxx 600 400.51 +0.49%
- Dow 26,071.72 +0.34%
- S&P 500 2,853.54 +0.50%
- Nasdaq 7,457.50 +0.61%
- Nikkei 225 23,816.33 +0.03%
- Gold 1,355.40 -0.92%
- Oil WTI 65.77 +0.38%
US growth misses a beat
While much of the US attention was in Davos today, on home turf economic growth lurched somewhat: most economists had been expecting a +3% rate climb for Q4. But a rise in imports helped slow the annualised rate of US economic growth to +2.6%.