Daily Mail

UK economy outpaces G7 in exports boom

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BRITAIN was the fastest growing major economy in the developed world at the end of last year as exports soared to a record high, figures showed yesterday.

The Office for National Statistics said total economic output rose by 0.7 per cent between October and December – the highest for two years. Growth was stronger than in all other G7 leading industrial­ised nations, including the United States and Germany.

Exports jumped 7.6 per cent to a record £146.9billion in the final three months of 2016 as the weak pound following the Brexit vote boosted sales of UK goods overseas.

The figures undermined claims that a decision to leave the EU would be a disaster for the economy, with analysts predicting a bumper year for exporters.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Markit, said it was ‘very welcome news for the economy’, adding: ‘Sterling’s marked weakening appears to be increasing­ly feeding through to lift exports, helped by current decent global demand.’

The surge in exports at the end of last year, and a subdued 0.3 per cent rise in imports, helped improve the current account deficit with the rest of the world.

It fell from £25.7billion in the third quarter to 2016 to £12.1billion in the fourth.

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