British GDP Growth Halves

28 May 2003

Britain’s economic growth slowed sharply in the first quarter, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics.

British GDP expansion halved from 0.4% in Q4 last year to 0.2% in the first three months of 2003 – and would have slowed even more dramatically if government expenditure had not increased 1.4%.

Alarmingly, growth in household expenditure tumbled from 1.1% in Q4 to 0.4% – the slowest rise since the third quarter of 1997. Consumer spending has hitherto been the main driver of economic growth.

Expansion in the service sector slowed from 0.5% to 0.3%, while manufacturing output contracted by 0.1%.

The figures confirm preliminary results released last month. These also showed 2.3% GDP growth compared with the first quarter of 2002 [WAMN: 29-Apr-03].

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff