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10 May 2019

The Guardian: UK economic growth picks up as stockpiling bolsters manufacturing

Britain’s economy strengthened in the first three months of the year, with growth of 0.5% helped by unprecedented stockpiling by manufacturers fearful of the impact from a no-deal Brexit.

It was an improvement on 0.2% growth in the previous three months and was bolstered by the strongest quarterly performance for manufacturers since 1988, with factory output up 2.2%, according to the figures from the Office for National Statistics.

However, widespread uncertainty about the Brexit negotiations proved to have a greater impact in March as the services sector and construction sectors went into reverse to leave GDP down 0.1% month on month.

The downward trajectory through the first quarter suggested that consumers became increasingly jittery about the prospects for the UK economy as the Tory government’s plan to push through a Brexit deal foundered.

The services sector, which accounts for more than three quarters of GDP, nudged ahead by 0.3% in the latest quarter, although all the uplift in activity was in January and February, while March registered a 0.1% fall. The construction sector was another area of the economy to provide a boost in the first two months of the year and a negative contribution in March. [...]

Full article on The Guardian

Office for National Statistics figures

© The Guardian

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