The quarter is over and the results are eagerly awaited. There is not much to be gained in the round by overly focusing on GDP numbers - the statistics are so variable that revisions can do things like erase recessions a few months later (as happened in 2011).
Indeed, just this last weekend the statisticians decided that the UK economy was £32 billion bigger than they previously estimated. This is small when considering the UK but £32 billion is a lot of money - but of course is about the size on one of the Baltic States entire economies or rather closer to home only slightly smaller than that of Northern Ireland which is around £40 billion.
But statistics have their uses as a guide to the general direction of things and one thing that does happen over time series is that they do track into and our of recessions. So this month should be interesting because Q1 of 2019 was 0.5% growth which is really quite good for the UK economy.
However, there was a lot of stockpiling ahead of the non-Brexit of 29th March and so this may have brought forward some corporate and other spending. As such Q2 will be weaker almost as a given, but will it drop to 0%. One really bad aspect of Brexit is the uncertainty, even a hard Brexit does at least end the uncertainty which is causing businesses to under-invest. Although Foreign Direct Investment is holding up well, it is also dropping off from its very high level.
Investment is crucial to the UK economy, without it we continue to move towards a low-pay, low added value model more akin to Southern Europe than US or Germany. The Government can only invest so much with a high public debt already, so we need the private sector investment.
Overall, I think growth will slow to 0% or near 0% in Q2 of 2019. With Brexit likely not until Q4 at the earliest, investment will remain weak and so Q3 over the summer could also be slow, hoping that renewed stockpiling could see a winter run up in GDP - overall though from here it seems hard to predict GDP growth above 1% for 2019 which is a very poor out-turn for the current rude health of the world economy.