UK growth slows to 0.3%

Office for National Statistics, today:

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have increased by 0.3% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017, the slowest rate of growth since Quarter 1 2016.
  • Slower growth in Quarter 1 2017 was mainly due to services, which grew by 0.3% compared with growth of 0.8% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2016.
  • In Quarter 1 2017 there were falls in several important consumer-focused industries, such as retail sales and accommodation; this was due in part to prices increasing more than spending.
  • Production, construction and agriculture grew by 0.3%, 0.2% and 0.3% respectively in Quarter 1 2017.
  • GDP per head was estimated to have increased by 0.1% during Quarter 1 2017.

Melanie Baker at Morgan Stanley, via The Guardian:

We expect this slower quarterly pace of growth to persist in 2017, reflecting our assumption that higher inflation will dampen real consumer spending growth and an assumption of subdued business investment as Brexit approaches.

Given that Scotland’s economic growth has trailed that of the UK since 2015, and given the Scottish economy’s contraction by 0.2% in Q4 2016, we could be looking at a recession1. Figures for Q1 2017 in Scotland won’t be available until 5 July.

  1. In the UK a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *