UK economic growth slows but service sector still buoyant
The UK’s economic growth slowed in the first quarter of the year, hit by a drop in manufacturing and construction output, official figures have shown.
Gross domestic product grew by 0.4% between January and March, down from 0.6% in the fourth quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. On an annual basis, growth was 2.1%.
The 0.4% rate was in line with economists’ expectations, and marks the 13th consecutive quarter of positive growth for the UK. Part of the slowdown was due to a sharp fall in construction output, which dropped 0.9% in the first quarter. Industrial output, which includes manufacturing, declined by 0.4%.
The service sector, the biggest part of the economy, grew by 0.6%. “Services continue to underpin the economy but other sectors have shown falling output this quarter,” said ONS chief economist Joe Grice.
This is the first estimate of economic growth for the period, using less than half the data that will be used for the final estimate.