This substantial growth in production is the latest in a whole series of positive economic data reported at the beginning of the year. Real retail sales in the second quarter, for example, were up by 1.3% on the previous quarter, having barely increased in the first compared to the closing quarter of 2016. This suggests that private consumption has started to pick up again after growing by a mere 0.3% in the first quarter. Similarly, exports recorded at the beginning of the year also provided positive impetus. Average nominal exports in April and May, for instance, rose by a wholly respectable 2.2% compared to the figure seen in the first quarter of 2017. All of these developments go hand-in-hand with continued sturdy growth in employment. Given the number of people in work most recently increased by 1.5% in a year-on-year comparison, real GDP is set to grow by above the two percent mark. We now expect GDP to expand by between 0.6% and 0.7% in the second quarter compared to the first, in seasonally adjusted terms and after adjustments to reflect the number of working days, producing a growth figure of between 1.8% and 1.9% in a year-on-year comparison.