Week ahead 21 November | EEF

Week ahead 21 November

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This week it’s all about the Autumn Statement and the first business investment figures in the post-referendum period:


What to expect from the Autumn Statement?

This year’s Autumn Statement will have an added flavour to it. It’s the first fiscal event of the new Government and policy-makers, economists and even members of the public, will tune in to listen to the new Chancellor setting out the Government’s post-referendum economic plan. Over the weekend, we have had indications that the Government is planning to boost spending on roads and research & development. Other than that we know little more.

What we do know is that EEF is looking for a down payment on Industrial Strategy. Over the course of recent weeks we’ve laid out the policy proposals we think should form the foundations of the new government’s Industrial Strategy approach. Hopefully, we’re in for some positive news.

We’re also looking forward to the OBR’s new economic and fiscal forecasts. As opposed to the rest of us, the OBR has had the benefit of time to adjust its post-Referendum forecasts based on the recently released Q3 data.

What to expect from business investment?

On Friday, the ONS will publish its second of estimate for Q3 GDP. The preliminary release showed a solid performance of 0.5% quarter on quarter. We expect any revision to be minor, in the range of 0.1pp. Manufacturing output growth in Q3 was revised upwards in the subsequent IoP figures from -1.0% to -0.9% but this is unlikely to exert significant upward pressures on the overall GDP numbers.

Of more interest will be the expenditure breakdown of GDP, including the first release of business investment figures in the post-referendum period. Investment has been the main worry of most economists, with uncertainty often weighing on companies’ appetite to ramp up spending, something also reflected in our Investment Monitor survey released earlier this month. We expect business investment to contract but its impact to be more than offset by consistently strong consumer spending, which accounts for over 60% of GDP.


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