Source: Northern Ireland weakest UK region says PwC

Source: Northern Ireland weakest UK region says PwC

The strong performance of the British economy since the Brexit vote, which was mainly driven by the resilience of consumer spending, is coming to an end as evidenced by retail data and business surveys, according toPwC in its latest UK Economic Outlook.

It now expects UK economic growth to slow from 1.8% in 2016 to around 1.6% in 2017 and 1.4% in 2018. Northern Ireland will be the worst-performing region with GVA (Gross Value Added) growth of 1.2% this year falling to just 0.9% in 2018.

Clearly, the only certainty is uncertainty. “The main reason for this significant slowdown in UK growth is projected to be a downturn in business investment driven by continued uncertainty surrounding the negotiations to leave the EU, and a squeeze on real household spending power from rising inflation, which could reach around 3% by early 2018 in our main scenario, and a softening of jobs growth. But somewhat stronger net exports, helped by the weaker pound, should dampen the scale of the fall in overall GDP growth this year. There are considerable uncertainties around any such projections at present, however, so businesses should stress test their business and investment plans against alternative economic scenarios and also review the potential wider implications of Brexit for all aspects of their operations.”