Paul Faulkner

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner

Latest GDP figures show economic resolve

Gross domestic product figures (GDP) for the second quarter of 2017 are a further sign of the economy showing its resolve, according to Greater Birmingham business leaders.

GDP was estimated to have increased by 0.3% between Q1 and Q2 with growth in Q2 being dominated by the service sector which grew by 0.5%.

There was also relatively strong growth in government spending and investment, although household spending (0.1%) and business investment (unchanged) during the same period were “sluggish”.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “It was reassuring to see a pick-up in GDP growth levels for Quarter 2 as once again the British economy demonstrated its resoluteness in the face of wider political uncertainty.

“It was also heartening to see an increase in service sector output which made up for the slower level of growth in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

“Nevertheless it remains to be seen how long service sector growth can be sustained given the relative slowdown in consumer spending caused by higher inflation levels and weak wage growth.

“Business Investment was also revealed to be sluggish this quarter, a theme we saw reflected in our Q2 Quarterly Business Report, as local firms reported stagnant investment levels in light of Brexit uncertainty.

“Surveying for our current Quarterly Business Report is now open and it will be interesting to see if these are trends are still prominent in the latest findings.”