28th May 2015
Any hope of the UK’s first quarter economic growth being revised up have been dashed as official figures confirmed GDP grew by just 0.3% over the period.
Economists had been hoping that upward revisions to industrial production and construction output would cause growth to be revised up to 0.4% but this was countered by services growth being revised down.
On the output side of the economy, growth was held back by a very disappointing, sharply negative net trade performance as imports of goods and services rose markedly while exports disappointingly edged down.
Despite the marked slowdown in the first quarter, from 0.6% in the last three months of 2014, Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight remains largely upbeat about growth prospects for 2015, especially now that the risk of prolonged political instability has been removed by the election of a majority Conservative government.
He said: “We believe robust consumer spending could push GDP growth up to 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter. Growth is seen holding up around this level through the second half of the year. We see GDP growth coming in around 2.5% in 2015.”