Growth forecast raised as Brexit vote response hailed

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has raised its growth forecast for the British economy, months after warning the UK would be hit by an immediate shock following the Brexit vote.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 21st September 2016, 2:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:45 pm
The OECD had warned UK growth would be damaged by a leave vote
The OECD had warned UK growth would be damaged by a leave vote

The think-tank upped its UK growth projections for 2016 by 0.1% to 1.8%, highlighting a strong pre-referendum economic performance and prompt action by the Bank of England.

“While markets have since stabilised, sterling has depreciated by around 10% in trade-weighted terms since the referendum. For 2016, GDP growth has been supported by a strong performance prior to the referendum, even though business investment contracted,” the OECD said.

The Bank was praised for its swift action following Britain’s decision to quit the European Union, adding that its strong policy response helped to stabilise markets and also contributed to “moderate scenarios” following the June 23 vote.

Prior to the vote, the OECD had issued stark warnings that UK growth would be pummelled in the event of a Leave outcome.

A number of other economists have also brightened their outlook for the UK, upping growth forecasts as Brexit uncertainty eased following a resilient performance from gross domestic product (GDP) in the run-up to the vote, coupled with a string of surveys pointing to a rebound in activity following July’s slump.

Nevertheless, the OECD said growth next year would be “well below” pre-referendum forecasts.

“GDP is projected to slow to 1% in 2017, well below the pace in recent years and forecasts prior to the referendum. Uncertainty about the future path of policy and the reaction of the economy remains very high and risks remain to the downside.”

It added that on the long-term outlook, a future trading arrangement with the EU and other countries will be “critical to its economic prospects”

The group warned in July that leaving the EU could result in a 3% loss in GDP by the end of the decade and is likely to hit employment..