UK economy delivers weak growth

The UK grew only weakly in the first three months of the year with the economy hit by strikes, cost of living pressures and wet weather.


The economy grew by just 0.1% between January and March, figures showed, and it remains smaller than levels seen before the Covid pandemic.


The UK is also lagging behind growth seen in other major economies.


On Thursday, the Bank of England said it was more optimistic about prospects, and the UK would avoid a recession.


Its comments came after the Bank increased interest rates to 4.5% from 4.25% as part of its continued attempt to slow soaring prices.


The ONS figures showed that while the economy grew slightly over the first three months of 2023, in March it contracted by 0.3%, with car sales and the retail sector having a bad month.


The economy is still 0.5% smaller than pre-pandemic levels, the ONS said.


While the UK outperformed Germany in the first three months of the year, many other major economies grew faster.

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