Is the UK still the fastest growing G7 economy?

Published: 19th May 2017

In brief

Claim

The UK economy is growing more quickly than any of the other G7 countries.

Conclusion

In 2016, the UK economy seems to have grown faster than any G7 country bar Germany, which grew at essentially the same rate.

“We are already… the fastest growing economy in the G7”

Conservative Party manifesto, 18 May 2017

This claim is justifiable, but it’s not at all clear cut.

The UK boasted the fastest growing economy of the ‘G7’ countries in 2014. In 2015, we were second behind the USA. Germany and the UK are both leading the table in 2016.

The latest data from the International Monetary Fund has the UK growing at essentially the same rate as Germany, 1.8%.

Economic growth figures are frequently revised, sometimes even years after their first publication. So at the moment it seems that the UK and Germany basically tied in 2016, but the next set of data might give a clearer lead to one or the other.

The UK’s GDP growth rate has slowed from 3.1% in 2014 to 1.8% in 2016.

The IMF’s latest forecast is for UK growth to be 2% in 2017, behind the USA’s 2.3%. However, it expects UK growth to slow to 1.5% in 2018, below several of the G7.


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