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UK Economy Ekes Out Growth in 1Q 2023
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released data indicating that the UK economy experienced a slower growth rate than anticipated in the first quarter of 2023. The economy expanded by 0.4% during the quarter, which was below the 0.6% forecast made by economists.
However, despite the slower growth, the ONS highlighted that the economy has now achieved ten quarters of consecutive growth. This marks the longest period of expansion since the financial crisis. The services sector was the main driver of growth, expanding by 0.5% during the quarter. Manufacturing and construction also grew, by 0.3% and 0.1% respectively. However, the production sector as a whole contracted by 0.1%, dragged down by declines in mining and quarrying, and electricity and gas supply.
Despite the slower growth, the ONS noted that the UK economy is still recovering from the pandemic, with output remaining 3.3% below pre-pandemic levels. The ONS also highlighted ongoing uncertainty around the impact of Brexit on the economy, as well as the recent surge in energy prices and supply chain disruptions. With these factors in mind, the ONS cautioned that the outlook for the UK economy remains uncertain.