British official first-quarter growth at 0.5%

25th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The British economy expanded by 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2011, unrevised official data showed on Wednesday, leaving economic activity broadly flat over the past six months.

"Gross domestic product increased by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2011, unrevised from the 0.5 percent increase published in April," the Office for National Statistics said in a statement giving its second estimates.

Growth in the first quarter followed a contaction of 0.5 percent in the final three quarter of 2010, when the economy was hit hard by heavy snowfall and freezing wintry weather.

The British economy had pulled out of a record-length recession in late 2009 but the recovery has faltered, amid concern over the impact of deep state spending cuts, taxation hikes and soaring inflation.

"The recovery has been underway for the last six quarters, though it suffered something of a setback in 2010 Q4 when the adverse weather is estimated to have reduced growth by 0.5 percentage points," the ONS added.

"However, underlying growth was estimated to be flat during 2010 Q4 and 2011 Q1, based on the latest estimates of GDP growth and the 'snow effect'.

"Growth during a recovery tends to be, by its nature, somewhat erratic, with some quarters experiencing strong growth and others less robust growth."

© 2011 AFP

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