UK economy rises 0.8 percent in first quarter; in line with estimates

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

London, England, United Kingdom (4E) – The UK economy rose in the first quarter, matching expectations, according to the latest revision from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released Friday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 0.8 percent from the fourth quarter, unrevised from the second estimate published on May 22. The annual growth was revised down to 3 percent from the previous reading of 3.1 percent.

A separate report from the ONS showed that inflation-adjusted household spending rose 0.8 percent, matching previous estimates. Spending rose 2.2 percent from the year-earlier quarter.

Friday’s report showed that the services index edged higher by 3.1 percent in April from the previous year. All of the four major components of the services industries climbed from the prior-year month.

In the first quarter, the balance of payment data revealed that the current account deficit fell to 18.5bn British pounds — equivalent to 4.4 percent of GDP — compared with a revised 23.5bn British pounds in the fourth quarter.

Gross fixed capital formation climbed 1.3bn British pounds or 2.4 percent to 56.9bn British pounds, the highest level since the final quarter of 2008. Business investment climbed 5 percent or by 1.6bn British pounds to 33.4bn British pounds.

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