UK GDP report to show scale of downturn in 2020 – business live


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6.44am GMT

Good morning.
Today we discover how the UK economy fared in December, and learn just how much economic damage was caused by the pandemic last year.

The latest GDP data, due at 7am, are expected to show that the economy grew by 1% in December, with the reopening of shops after the November lockdown providing a pre-Christmas lift.

The preliminary reading of fourth quarter GDP will be published at 7am (UK time), economists are expecting to see 0.5% on a quarterly basis, which would be a big fall from the 16% growth registered in the third quarter.

Services account for approximately 70% of the UK’s economic output. The services PMI levels in October, November and December were 51.4, 47.6 and 49.4 respectively. A reading below 50.0 means negative growth. It is clear the tougher restrictions that were introduced from November onwards dented the all-important industry. Given the uncertainty that existed in relation to the UK-EU trading relationship at the back end of 2020, there could have been stockpiling of goods.

Related: IMF downgrades forecast for UK economic recovery

It’s finally Friday!!

Markets are, again, rather subdued across the board this morning, with the LNY holidays in Asia keeping things in check

UK Q4 GDP & UMich consumer sentiment highlight today’s calendar, before we move into the long US weekend

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