The services sector is crucial to the UK economy. In the first quarter of 2016, it was only growth in that sector which kept overall economic growth positive, with the production industries in recession.
The preliminary estimate of first quarter GDP growth was released this morning, and it showed that growth had slowed at the beginning of this year to 0.4% (from 0.6% at the end of 2015).
Tomorrow morning, the preliminary estimate for UK fourth quarter GDP growth will be announced, and we’ll get a first impression of annual growth for 2015.
The labour market statistics released this morning showed regular average earnings (excluding bonuses) growing by 2.8% in the second quarter of the year (compared to Q2 2014).
A few weeks ago, we produced a chart which showed how the UK service sector is outperforming other sectors and dragging GDP growth up.
This week we’ve received two big bits of economic news: CPI inflation fell to just 0.3% in January, while earnings growth remained roughly steady at 1.7% in the three months to December.