Brexit triumph as UK GDP shows "unexpected" SURGE in 2022
According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK economy grew a staggering 0.8 percent in January, far outpacing post-Brexit forecasts. Across the board, all the main sectors of the economy showed growth, but economists are warning of tougher times to come.
The latest ONS figures show that gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.8 percent month-on-month in January, after a 0.2 percent decline in December 2021 as the Omicron variant rattled markets.
City economists had forecast a growth rate of just 0.2 percent for January 2022, making this result four times higher than expected.
The expansion marks the strongest period of growth since last June, and shows the economy bounced back from 'Omicron' far quicker than expected as people returned to pubs and restaurants.
The ONS said all areas of the economy enjoyed a return to growth in the early parts of the year, with wholesale, retail and recreation particularly strong drivers.
Elsewhere in data released by the ONS last week, it emerged that Britain’s trade deficit with the EU rose sharply, but ONS researchers said this was a one-off effect related to the way EU trade data is collected post-Brexit.
Around £2billion of a £3billion pound fall in goods exports to the EU in January was related to this, the ONS said, and therefore cannot be used as an accurate measure.
However, HMRC officials said a £4.7billion rise in imports from the EU was "predominantly" the result of a genuine shift, such as a £2billion pound rise in imports of cars, due to reduced domestic production.
This figure puts imports from EU countries on par with non-EU nations, as the Brexit transition wobble appears to smooth.
Trade with non-EU countries was little changed from December.