Prospects for the UK economy

Publication date: 1 Aug 2018 | Publication type: National Institute Economic Review | Theme: Macroeconomics | NIESR Author(s): Kara, A; Lennard, J; Lenoel, C; Lopresto, M; Piggott, R; Young, G | Journal: National Institute Economic Review Issue 245 | Publisher: Sage Publications, London
  • The UK economy is facing an unusual level of uncertainty because of Brexit. This uncertainty primarily stems from the yet to be defined relationship between the UK and the EU but also from the economy’s response to the new framework once it emerges. The UK government’s White Paper, which set out its preferences for that new relationship, has failed to unite the government or Parliament, leaving open an entire spectrum of possible outcomes.
  • Our central forecast under a ‘soft Brexit’ scenario is that the economy will grow at a pace that is consistent with its potential. This translates to annual GDP growth of 1.4 per cent this year and 1.7 per cent next year, which is broadly unchanged from our previous forecast. The risks to our GDP growth forecast are wider than before and tilted to the downside.
  • As before, we condition our forecast on a gentle path of monetary policy normalisation with the next 25 basis point rate increase this month. On the fiscal side, we recommend that the government maintains its current level of spending (as a share of GDP) and raises the quality of public services.

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