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Economic growth in the UK slows to 0.2%

Economic growth in the UK slows to 0.2%

Category: Economy

Updated: 23/04/2010
First Published: 23/04/2010

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This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
The economic recovery slowed slightly during the first three months of 2010, the first official estimates have reported.

Gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.2% in the first quarter of the year, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

The final quarter of last year saw GDP increase by 0.4%, but the final figure was revised upwards from an original estimate of just 0.1%.

The reason figures can be updated is that not all of the relevant data is available when the first estimate is made. As such, the growth that has been reported to day could be revised up or down in the coming months.

A figure of 0.4% for the first quarter of the year had been predicted by experts and analysts.

The ONS said that business services and finance was the largest contributor to the positive growth, while total production, transport, storage and communication also had a positive effect.

This was partially offset by a decrease in output from distribution, hotels and restaurants, and construction.

The results are sure to attract the attention of the political parties which are deadlocked in the opinion polls.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown could well use the weak growth as an argument for not cutting billions of pounds from the country's budget, as he has accused David Cameron of doing.

By contrast, the leader of the Conservative Party may argue that, against a backdrop of a stuttering recovery, a hike in National Insurance – dubbed a 'tax on jobs' by Mr. Cameron – could push the country back into recession.

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