A momentous week ahead with the triggering of Article 50, as well as the third and final GDP estimate for the final quarter of 2016.
Q4 GDP third estimate
On Friday the ONS will release its third estimate for Q4 GDP. While this tells us little about how the economy is performing now (these figures are now almost three months old) it is still a telling indicator of any momentum that may have been carried over into 2017. After the first estimate of 0.6% GDP growth, this figure was revised up to a healthy 0.7% on the back of better than expected industrial and construction output. We expect Q4 growth to be confirmed at 0.7% this time round, although there is an outside chance of a revision up to 0.8%.
Article 50 Triggered
On Wednesday Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, thereby formally declaring the UK’s intentions to leave the European Union and thus allowing the complex negotiations of the UK’s exit to commence. Under the treaty exit negotiations should take no longer than 2 years so in theory the UK should have left the EU by April 2019. However with very little known about the government’s approach to negotiations, as well as some proposing the notion of a transitional period for the UK, many believe that the process could take a lot longer.