Friday, 27 April 2018

UK economy grew at its slowest rate since 2012 in the first quarter

The UK economy grew at its slowest rate since 2012 in the first quarter of the year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

GDP growth was 0.1%, down from 0.4% in the previous quarter, driven by a sharp fall in construction output and a sluggish manufacturing sector.

The ONS said the recent extreme weather had a "relatively small" impact.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said the data was "clearly disappointing" but the economic fundamentals "are strong".

He said the economy "has grown every year since 2010 and unemployment is at a 40 year low, but we are not complacent". The government would continue with a balanced approach, he added.
Sterling fell sharply as the chances of an interest rate rise in May recceded. Following the news the pound was down almost one and a half cents against the dollar at $1.3775.

Rob Kent-Smith, head of national accounts at the ONS, said: "Our initial estimate shows the UK economy growing at its slowest pace in more than five years with weaker manufacturing growth, subdued consumer-facing industries and construction output falling significantly.

"While the snow had some impact on the economy, particularly in construction and some areas of retail, its overall effect was limited with the bad weather actually boosting energy supply and online sales."

BBC        News.

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