UK GDP suffers worst rate of growth in six years

The UK's economy grew at the worst rate since 2012, figures out this morning show.

GDP grew by just 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, according to the second, unrevised, estimate put out by the Office for National Statistics.

And once you adjust for population changes, the figures are even worse: GDP per capita shrank by 0.1 per cent between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first three months of this year.

The ONS has warned it sees "a continuation of a pattern of slowing growth, in part reflecting a slowing in the growth of consumer-facing industries". Household spending grew by 0.2 per cent, while business investment decreased by 0.2 per cent between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of this year.

Services, which makes up the largest component of GDP, rose by 0.3 per cent with growth registered in three of the four sub-sectors – transport, business services and finance and government. However distribution, hotels and restaurants dropped 0.1 per cent.

But despite this, the yearly pattern suggests a weakening in these sectors, particularly in retail, food and drink, and arts and leisure.

"While the bad weather had some impact on the economy, particularly in construction and some areas of retail, its overall effect was limited, with partially offsetting impacts in energy supply and online sales," the ONS added.

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