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What will the consumer do?

Getting the answer right is the key to successful economic forecasting

By Duncan Weldon  

©Chris Radburn/PA Wire/PA Images

The figures are in. According to the initial estimate by the Office for National Statistics, UK GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 came in at 0.6 per cent—and at 2 per cent for the year as a whole. That’s a touch above the consensus forecast but well ahead of what almost every observer—including your writer—was looking for just six months ago.

A good rule of thumb when looking at GDP figures is “never overanalyse one set of quarterly numbers, especially…

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