Press comment: Sluggish UK growth no surprise, but reasons to be optimistic

If you are covering the news that the UK’s economy saw zero growth in Q4 2019, please find below a comment from Sacha Chorley, portfolio manager at Quilter Investors:

“Today’s sluggish GDP figure is not necessarily a surprise given UK PMI’s have been tracking lower through most of 2019. However, we have seen a rebound recently, particularly as confidence begins to return following the certainty created by the general election result. As such, there are reasons to be optimistic as the UK economy looks to adapt following the exit from the European Union, and despite the now increasingly likely bumpy future relationship.

“Nevertheless, the language coming from government has been quite firm now, with talk about the imposition of border controls and for businesses to prepare for difficult trading conditions. This was a certainty to many, of course, but it is now being realistically brought into the popular discussion. This is possibly just an opening gambit for the negotiations from the government, but it could also be negative on sentiment, and hence the desire for corporations and people to invest, if it gets too aggressive.

“That said, business surveys are improving, and this will consequently feed investment into the economy. Additionally, if there is the need for more border controls, arguably you do have to employ more people and build more infrastructure to actually facilitate the new relationship. As a result there could be an increase in productivity, and with the government looking to boost spending on big-ticket projects, we could see an uptick in growth just as we did when businesses began stockpiling last year due to the threat of a no deal Brexit.”


Notes to Editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £110.4 billion in customer investments (as at 31 December 2019).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform and Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore.

The Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business was acquired by ReAssure Group Plc on 2 January 2020.

Since its IPO in June 2018, Quilter plc’s businesses have progressively rebranded to Quilter, as follows: 

  • Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
  • Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
  • Quilter Financial Advisers (previously Charles Derby Group)
  • Quilter Financial Adviser School
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Quilter Investors
  • Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Wealth Solutions in 2020)
  • Old Mutual International (becoming Quilter International in 2020)

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