LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy is likely to see slow growth through the middle of this year before picking up towards the end of 2019, Bank of England (BoE) Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said in an interview published on Saturday.
“Given where the labour market is, given that real incomes are beginning to see some pick-up, growth might be weak in the middle of this year and then start to pick up,” Ramsden told Scotland’s Press and Journal newspaper during a trip to Inverness.
In a speech to local businesses on Thursday, Ramsden said he expected growth to be a bit weaker than the BoE had forecast at the start of May due to slower investment and subdued economic productivity.
“Businesses might be more cautious to start investing again at the kind of pace that we are forecasting, because we see investment picking up to 5% or so next year. It’s currently falling on a year earlier,” he told the newspaper.
The BoE forecast in early May that the economy would grow by 1.5% this year and 1.6% in 2020 if Brexit goes smoothly.
Quarterly growth was a robust 0.5% in the first three months of 2019, but the BoE predicts this will drop to 0.2% during the current quarter as the temporary boost from pre-Brexit stockpiling fades.
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Sandra Maler)