Britain’s economy grew at 0.4% in the first three months of the year, despite a slump in manufacturing and construction output that has dragged down GDP growth over the last year.
Tumbling business investment, which recorded its first annual fall in three years, also restricted growth and fuelled concerns that businesses are holding back on plans to expand ahead of the EU referendum.
Increases in business services and government spending, especially on the NHS, propped up growth in the first quarter, according to the second estimate of GDP by the Office for National Statistics.
The figures, which confirm an earlier estimate that growth slowed down from 0.6% in the last quarter of 2015, will be leapt on by the Treasury as another sign of the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit debate affecting business confidence and investment.
via The Guardian