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After a GDP rise of 0.4% in Q4 2016, the latest business
surveys suggest that a further acceleration is under way. At face value, the
composite PMI implies that quarterly GDP growth could rise by around 0.6% in Q1
this year. But despite a 0.9% rise in industrial production in January, other
hard data so far paint a less upbeat picture than the surveys, but even so we
have pencilled in a still very respectable Q1 quarterly rise of almost 0.5%. As a result, we have raised our 2017 GDP
growth forecast slightly from 1.5% to 1.6%.
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