GDP surges in good news for Rishi Sunak days before election | Personal Finance | Finance


GDP is estimated to have grown by 0.7 percent in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2024, revised up from a first estimate of 0.6 percent.

The household saving ratio is estimated to be 11.1 percent in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar 2024), up from 10.2 percent in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2023.

The underlying UK current account deficit narrowed to £23.8billion (3.5 percent of GDP) in Quarter 1 2024, down from £26.3billion (3.9 percent of GDP).

Services grew by 0.8 percent with production also seeing a rise of 0.6 percent.

On the other hand construction saw a drop of 0.6 percent.

In expenditure terms, there were increases in the volume of net trade and household spending, partially offset by falls in gross capital formation and government consumption.

Real households’ disposable income (RHDI) is estimated to have grown by 0.7 percent in Quarter 1 2024, maintaining the same growth as the previous quarter.

A second measure of real GDP per head, which measures the economy and its growth in relation to the population, showed an increase of 0.5 percent in Quarter 1 2024, which was also revised up from 0.4 percent.

This also represents a step forward from the fact there were previously seven consecutive quarters without positive growth.

The figures will be seized on by Rishi Sunak to argue that the Conservatives’ economic plan is working and that the country has turned a corner.

The figures on growth are the best for two and a half years, suggesting there is real momentum in the economy.

The ONS also said real household disposable income – the amount of money left in people’s pockets after paying for essentials – is estimated to have grown by 0.7 percent in the first quarter, which reflects the fact that wages have been rising faster than inflation.

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, said the figures suggest Britain is growing faster than much of Europe and the USA.

“This reinforces a picture of an economy that is recovering,” he said.

“That first estimate of GDP was surprising strong and was the best result in two and half years and stronger than anything in the Euro area or the States.

“Today we have seen an upward revision that does underscore that the economy had quite good momentum in the first quarter.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Stewart added: “This does look like an economy with quite good momentum.”

Paul Dales, chief UK economist at research company Capital Economics, said the faster growth rise in GDP in early 2024 was “mainly due to upward revisions to consumer spending”.

He added the new figure suggested “whoever is Prime Minister this time next week may benefit from the economic recovery being a bit stronger”.

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