Jobbing Umbrella Company employees hoping for new professional contracting opportunities in 2015 can draw some modest comfort from the latest GDP figures, which confirm growth of 0.7% between Q2 and Q3.
Released on 22nd December by the Office for National Statistics, the increase cements the UK’s status as one of the EU’s fastest growing economies. The overall growth trend is hardly an occasion for uncorking champagne bottles, however, as the ONS has been forced to lower its annual growth figure from the 3% it originally forecast to 2.6%. This development has not impressed investors and the pound dropped slightly to $1.55 in response to the news.
Investors were also likely to have been concerned about a shock current account deficit. Originally forecast to hit £23bn, the figure swelled to the far higher total of £27bn. On a fractionally more positive note, the trade deficit closed slightly from £9.2bn to £9bn, largely driven by overseas sales.
Spreadex financial analyst Connor Campbell described the figures as disappointing, adding: “These were the final significant figures for the UK this side of Christmas, and they aren’t exactly the highs the FTSE would have liked to go out on; however, with the FTSE’s trend of following the US markets, a strong performance from its American peers may see another afternoon rally from the UK index.”
The FTSE 100 climbed 0.4% in mid-morning trading on the following day, bucking the downward movement of the Dow and S&P 500, which fell by 0.9% and 0.4% respectively.
Investors, it seems, have not nosedived into a pit of despondency after all.