Q1 economic growth confirmed at 0.3 per cent

The UK economy grew by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year, official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have confirmed.

The ONS estimate for Q1 GDP growth, issued in April, was unrevised and confirmed the return to modest growth after a 0.3 per cent contraction in the final quarter of 2012.

Key points on Q1 economic performance:

  • services sector grew by 0.6 per cent
  • production grew by 0.2 per cent, including a 4.0 per cent increase in mining and quarrying
  • construction contracted by 2.4 per cent
  • exports and imports declined by 0.8 and 0.5 per cent respectively
  • household expenditure grew by 0.1 per cent

Commenting on the figures, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), John Longworth, said:

"Any growth, however small, is good news and will boost the confidence of many firms across the UK. As things stand, the economy is likely to remain subdued for some time, although we do expect slow and steady growth to continue throughout 2013.

"We urge the Chancellor to seriously consider allocating more current spending towards capital investment and towards measures that would give firms across Britain the right tools they need to grow. He must ensure that the Treasury and the Bank of England do much more to lever private investment in infrastructure by providing guarantees to make it more attractive to investors. Bold steps to improve access to finance and to review the business tax regime are also crucial. Only then will we stand a chance of leading Britain towards a meaningful and sustainable economic recovery."