UK first quarter growth curbed by fall in exports

Official estimate data confirms slowdown in British economy within first three months of 2015

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Driven by a weaker than expected performance in the service sector and a widening trade deficit the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose to 0.3 percent in the first three months of 2015, according to a preliminary estimate by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However, this data was weaker than expected.

The Bank of England has stated it expects first quarter growth to climb back up to 0.5 percent once the final data is announced. It also anticipates the British economy will expand by 2.5 percent in 2015.

The ONS also reported that investment grew by 1.7 percent in the first quarter, reaching its highest level since the second quarter in 2014. 

Trade weighed down the growth of the economy, as imports - mainly oil and machinery - increased at a faster pace than exports. Exports declined 0.3 percent while imports gained 2.3 percent.

In 2014, the UK economy took expanded at the fastest pace against the Group of 7 (G7) largest economies. However, the recent performance data has troubled experts with concern over a possible “Brexit” also worrying investors. 

TRTWorld and agencies