In response to new GDP data released today, John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, commented:
"Despite ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, the UK economy held up relatively well in February, with GDP growth of 0.2% compared to January. Services continued to grow at a moderate pace, while manufacturing output seems to have been boosted to some degree by pre-Brexit stockpiling since January.
"The underlying trend over the past three months has been for GDP growth at an annualised rate of just over 1%. This is below trend and well down on the buoyant growth rates seen last summer, but there are no signs that Brexit-related uncertainty has pushed the economy as a whole into recession.
"The main reason why the economy has held up is that while business investment has been falling over the past year, consumer spending has fared much better on the back of continued strong jobs growth and a steady pick-up in real earnings growth.
"The signs are that, if current uncertainties over Brexit can be resolved in an orderly way, paving the way for a recovery in business investment, then UK growth could pick up later this year and into 2020. On this basis, our main scenario is for UK GDP growth of 1.1% in 2019 and 1.6% in 2020."
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