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Growth falters ahead of election

UK economy slows as US also stutters

Money - own picThe UK economy slowed to 0.3% between January and March from 0.7% in the previous quarter.

Higher inflation, boosted by last year’s Brexit vote, hit spending on the high street and hurt other consumer-focused businesses.

House prices also fell for a second month as did consumer confidence.

The Office for National Statistics said the biggest impact on first-quarter growth was on retailers and hotels.

Economists had been expecting GDP growth to slow as consumers reined back spending in the face of rising inflation, but they had pencilled in a higher figure of 0.4%.

Official data last week showed the biggest quarterly fall in retail sales since 2010.

The pound has also dipped following weak GDP figures from the US, although it is still at $1.29 – its best level for seven months.

The FTSE 100 closed at 7,203.94, down 33.23 points.

US economic growth in the first three months of Donald Trump’s presidency has slowed to the weakest rate since the first quarter of 2014.

It grew at 0.7% in the first quarter, compared to 2.1% in the final three months of 2016. Mr Trump had promised to lift US economic growth to 4%.

Monday 1 May 8am: 

Oil prices edged lower, undermined by weaker manufacturing data in China, and despite talk that OPEC-led crude oil output cuts could be extended when oil producers meet later this month.

London Brent crude for new front-month delivery in July was down 13 cents at $51.92.

Asian stocks shook off a sluggish start and edged up, with Japan outperforming on upbeat earnings, while the dollar regained traction as the US government looked likely to avoid a shutdown.

The euro gave back earlier modest gains and was flat at $1.0891.

The pound was 0.3% lower at $1.2907 after climbing to a seven-month high of $1.2957 on Friday.




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