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PwC reveals forecasts for 2017

Dec 29
Tags: PwC
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PwC reveals forecasts for 2017

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has offered some predictions for 2017, which it said is likely to be "another eventful year".

The triggering of Article 50, a series of European elections and the possibility of progress towards another Scottish independence referendum could be some of the key themes of 2017.

Looking at UK sectors, John Hawksworth, chief economist at the consulting firm, said a recession is unlikely and certain parts of the UK economy should stay strong, particularly in markets related to consumer services, tourism and technology.

"But manufacturing and construction may continue to struggle and the City could suffer some loss of business to other EU countries due to the anticipated impact of Brexit," he added.

As far as the economy is concerned, PwC is expecting growth in GDP to fall back to "middling" levels of up to 1.5 percent in 2017. This year, the UK led the G7 with economic expansion of around two percent.

Mr Hawksworth said the forecasts for weaker performance next year reflect "the gradual drag on business investment from Brexit-related uncertainty, as well as the squeeze on real household spending power from the weaker pound".

One key economic factor that will have a big impact on consumers and businesses across the UK next year is inflation, which reached a two-year high of 1.2 percent in November 2016, up from 0.9 percent in October. This was driven by the biggest increase in clothing prices for six years.

PwC said the "re-emergence of inflation" will be a "key feature of 2017". The firm predicted that the inflation rate could climb to up to three percent, which would put pressure on real earnings growth.

It also forecast that the Bank of England will keep interest rates on hold for at least the first half of the year.

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Image: iStock/NicoElNino

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