GDP data

UK economy grows stronger than first estimates

Wagamama, service, hospitality, restaurant
The economy recovered from recession more strongly than first thought (pic: Terry Murden)

Britain’s economy grew faster than first estimated in first three months of 2024, amid growing optimism for the second half of the year.

Official data shows the economy grew by 0.7% between January and March, slightly ahead of the 0.6% estimate.

It means the economy bounced back even stronger than first expected from a recession at the end of 2023, when the economy contracted by 0.1% in the third quarter and 0.3% in the fourth quarter.

Growth in the services sector, which includes businesses such as hairdressers, banks, and hospitality, helped boost growth, said the Office for National Statistics.

There was slightly stronger activity in the professional services, transport and storage sectors. The production sector grew by 0.6% while the construction sector fell by 0.6%.

However, Paul Dales of Capital Economics warned that it could mean the Bank of England is “a bit less comfortable” with cutting interest rates in August.

The FTSE 100 rose at the open. The UK’s blue chip index was up 0.6% to 8,228.92 while the midcap FTSE 250 was 0.1% higher 20,351.03.

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