British manufacturing grew more strongly than expected in December, showing the economy remained resilient to the end of the year despite June's Brexit vote shock, although 2017 looks likely to be more difficult. Julian Satterthwaite reports.
Britain's economy keeps defying predictions of doom. Figures out Friday show manufacturing growing much faster than expected. It expanded by 1.2 percent in the last three months of 2016 - more than twice the expected rate. SOUNDBITE (English) IG SENIOR ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "We've seen a UK economy that has defied all expectations and while this data is now two months old it still sends a strong signal that the UK economy is moving in the right direction and it confounds the doomsayers, it confounds all expectations to the contrary. It can, it has, weathered the storm over Brexit and it should continue to do so, helped along of course by that weaker pound." Industrial and construction output also beating forecasts. All told, the numbers made the UK economy the strongest performer in the Group of Seven major nations last year. That confounds repeated predictions of a slowdown following June's Brexit vote.