Despite a turbulent year politically and a sombre warning from the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, the United Kingdom will finish the year as the fastest growing economy in the G7, a respected survey of businesses has shown.
That optimism is based on the purchasing managers' index (PMI) which showed a reading of 55.2 for the services sector in November, the highest since January and up from 54.4 in October, The Times reported.
Experts say that Britain's economy is on course to grow at 0.5% in the final quarter, beating forecasts by the Bank of England and putting Britain ahead of the rest of the world's leading economies.
Alan Clarke, an economist at Scotiabank, told the newspaper: "As things stand, the survey-based evidence is very encouraging. If it is right, then we are looking at a very good end to 2016."
Chris Williamson, from IHS Markit, which compiled the survey, said: "The further upturn in the vast services sector shows that the pace of UK economic growth remains resiliently robust in the fourth quarter, despite ongoing uncertainty," The Times reported.
On Monday evening, BoE governor Mark Carney sounded a solemn note, saying that Britain is going through its first "lost decade" of economic growth for 150 years.
He also said that the UK could lose up to 15 million jobs to robots in the coming years as new technologies come to the fore.
At a speech in Liverpool on Monday evening (5 November), he said the UK's lack of growth had caused inequalities and led people to question the benefits of globalisation.
"We meet today during the first lost decade since the 1860s," he said. "Over the past decade, real earnings have grown at the slowest rate since the mid-19th century."
He said globalisation had become "associated with low wages, insecure employment, stateless corporations and striking inequalities", but warned: "Turning our backs on open markets would be a tragedy, but it is a possibility."
On the prospect of losing 15 million jobs, or half the workforce, to robots, he said: "The fundamental challenge is, alongside its great benefits, every technological revolution mercilessly destroys jobs and livelihoods – and therefore identities – well before the new ones emerge."