May 13, 2019

Chart of the Week: Fathom’s UK ESI points to subdued economic sentiment

by Fathom Consulting.

Confidence about UK economic prospects remains subdued, with Fathom’s UK Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) unchanged at 0.2% in April. In common with many forecasters, Fathom correctly predicted a preliminary estimate of GDP growth in 2019 Q1 of 0.5%. It seems that preparations, by firms and households, for a potentially disorderly Brexit on 29 March boosted economic activity during the first quarter; with underlying economic growth at the start of this year close to 0.2%. In our judgement, the risk is that the actual data for Q2 will be correspondingly weak, as firms and households run down stocks built up in Q1.

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