Economic Prospects is EEF’s analysis of economic prospects for manufacturing and the UK economy for the year ahead.
The backdrop to EEF’s last edition of Economic Prospects, published in Summer 2012, was a weak end to 2011 and few signs of much better to come in the first half of 2012. With that, our forecast for growth was revised down to 0.2%. While the quarterly growth profile across the year was impacted by one-off events, National Statistics confirmed that the economy expanded only modestly.
While we pointed to strengthening consumer spending as a source of growth we had also expected to see signs of a business investment underway through 2012. Contributions to growth, however, continued to be unbalanced, with household and government expenditure accounting for most of what growth we saw last year.
The first half of 2013 has brought clear signs of economic improvement with growth picking up in the three months to June. Again, this has been largely consumer-driven.