* UK growth - tmsnrt.rs/2eeJAlm
* UK inflation - tmsnrt.rs/2e52HBm
* UK wage growth - reut.rs/2nuYWbI
* UK retail sales - reut.rs/2mQh1xR
* UK goods exports - reut.rs/2nv8Zxd
* The Brexit effect - tmsnrt.rs/2o5MUVS
By William Schomberg
LONDON, March 29 Britain's economy is sending
mixed signals about its readiness for Brexit just as British
Prime Minister Theresa May launches the process of pulling the
country out of the European Union.
Economic growth was resilient in 2016, confounding forecasts
of a quick and painful hit after June's Brexit vote.
There have been recent signs that exporters are benefitting
from the pound's fall and a pickup in the world economy.
But consumers, typically the main drivers of British growth,
appear to be turning more cautious.
Following is a summary of the most important measures of the
British economy along with graphics.
OVERALL ECONOMIC GROWTH
The economy grew by 1.8 percent in 2016, second only to
Germany among the Group of Seven big rich nations. In quarterly
terms, growth sped up at the end of last year, prompting the
Bank of England to raise its forecast for early 2017. The BoE
and the government's forecasters expect growth of 2.0 percent
this year. Other economists are less optimistic, forecasting
growth of 1.6 percent, according to a Reuters poll.
Most of the BoE's policymakers expect the pace of growth to
slow as 2017 progresses but they showed "differing degrees of
confidence" about that forecast at their meeting this month when
one rate-setter voted to raise borrowing costs and others said
they might follow suit.
GRAPHIC - UK growth accelerated into the end of 2016:
INFLATION ON THE RISE
Inflation is rising quickly in response to the sharp fall in
the value of the pound since the Brexit vote and the rise in
global oil prices over the past year. It jumped to 2.3 percent
in February and the BoE predicts it will peak at 2.8 percent in
the first half of next year, above its 2 percent target. Many
economists say inflation is heading above 3 percent.
GRAPHIC - UK inflation starts to climb
WAGE GROWTH STUMBLES
British workers have seen their pay eaten away by rising
prices for many of the years since the financial crisis. A brief
respite, caused by inflation's fall to zero in 2015, is set to
end soon. Pay growth, adjusted for inflation, was the lowest
since October 2014 in the most recent data. The BoE expects pay
will rise 3 percent in 2017, up from the most recent reading of
2.2 percent, but its forecasts have often proven too optimistic.
GRAPHIC - UK real wage growth eaten away as inflation rises
CONSUMERS FEEL THE PINCH
Britain's shoppers proved the forecasters wrong by carrying
on spending freely after the Brexit vote, helping the economy to
withstand the shock. But that seems to be changing. Retail sales
shrank at the fastest rate in nearly seven years during the past
three months, despite a pickup in February.
Data published on Wednesday showed growth in consumer credit
in the three months to February was the weakest since July 2015,
at 8.7 percent.
However, consumer confidence has remained robust and house
prices continue to grow, adding to the mixed picture.
GRAPHIC - UK retail sales suffer back-to-back falls
CAN EXPORTERS MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE?
Exporters are getting a boost from sterling's fall, as well
as a recovery in the economies of Europe and the United States.
Net trade made a rare positive contribution to economic growth
in late 2016. And in the three months to January, volumes of
goods exports showed their biggest increase in a decade. But
there are big questions about what happens after Brexit. Britain
has chosen to prioritise migration controls over access to the
EU's single market which accounts for about half of Britain's
exports. BoE Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent has said the current
"sweet spot" for exporters might not last, given the prospect of
barriers to trade with the EU or a likely appreciation of
sterling if Britain secures a good deal.
GRAPHIC - UK goods exports volumes surge
(Writing by William Schomberg, graphics by Jiachuan Wu and Andy
Bruce Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)