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Economic review


  • Graeme Chamberlin

    (Office for National Statistics)


SUMMARYGDP growth slowed in the first quarter of 2010 to 0.3 per cent, marginally lower than growth of 0.4 per cent in the preceding quarter. The slowdown in growth was particularly marked in the services sector. Two specific factors appear to have had some effect in slowing growth in the latest quarter. First, bad weather during January caused disruption to many UK economic activities, especially in the distribution and hotels and catering sector, but also in retail sales and exports of goods. Second, the reversion of VAT to its higher rate in January may have encouraged some household expenditure to be brought forward to December. Household consumption was flat over the quarter, but stockholding and fixed investment contributed positively to growth. Despite significant sterling depreciation, net trade continues to weigh on GDP growth. Average weekly earnings picked up a little in March but remain at subdued rates, especially in the private sector. Annual consumer prices inflation was 3.7 per cent in April reflecting the reversion of VAT to its higher rate and also the transport component of the index which includes motor fuels, second cars, railway transport and air transport.

Suggested Citation

  • Graeme Chamberlin, 2010. "Economic review," Economic & Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan;Office for National Statistics, vol. 4(6), pages 6-14, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:ecolmr:v:4:y:2010:i:6:p:6-14

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