UK economy growth ‘revised up’
UK economic growth has been revised up to 0.2% in the first quarter, as output from Britain’s construction sector came in higher than previously estimated.
Earlier readings of GDP by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the economy grew just 0.1% – which would have been the slowest pace of growth in five years.
While the final reading means growth still halved from 0.4% in the final quarter of 2017, the slightly better measurement is likely to raise the prospect of a near-term interest rate hike by the Bank of England.
The ONS raised the figure in its final estimate after a notable upward revision in construction output, which mainly reflects improvements to the way the sector’s work is measured.
ONS head of GDP Rob Kent-Smith said: “GDP growth was revised up slightly in the first three months of 2018, with later construction data, and significantly improved methods for measuring the sector, nudging up growth.
“These improved methods, introduced as part of ONS’s annual update to its figures, will lead to better early estimates of the construction sector with smaller revisions in the future.”
The pound spiked in the wake of the data, rising 0.7% against the US dollar to trade at 1.317. Versus the euro, sterling was nearly flat, at 1.130.
Construction output growth was revised up by 1.9 percentage points over the quarter to negative 0.8%, while production output was revised down by 0.2 percentage points to 0.4%.
Services sector growth was unrevised at 0.3%.