UK first quarter economic growth revised higher

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UK first quarter economic growth revised higher skynews interserve construction 4207547

Britain’s first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) has been revised up 0.2%, official data showed.

The revision came after the Office of National Statistic (ONS) scaled back its estimate of the decline in construction output.

Previously, the ONS said the economy grew just 0.1% as unusually cold weather hit Britain. It also blamed the weak growth on a fall in business investment and inflation.

ONS head of GDP Rob Kent-Smith said: “GDP growth was revised up slightly in the first three months of 2018, with later construction data, and significantly improved methods for measuring the sector, nudging up growth.

“These improved methods, introduced as part of ONS’s annual update to its figures, will lead to better early estimates of the construction sector with smaller revisions in the future.

“Overall, households were borrowers at the beginning of 2018 and for the sixth consecutive quarter, as households continued to face increasing prices, squeezing their budgets.

“Investment by both local and central government and the private sector fell, with spending on buildings, machinery and software all seeing notable falls.”

The final reading means growth still halved from 0.4% in the final quarter of 2017, but the slightly better data is likely to raise the prospect of an interest rate hike by the Bank of England.

The BoE believes the initial data was a blip and the economy is bouncing back from the unusually cold weather in late February and early March.

The pound rallied sharply to $1.3170, up 0.7%.

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