UK GDP to be revised up after construction falls less than thought

Jessica Morris
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Construction output fell less than previously thought in the first quarter (Source: Getty)

Britain's economy is expected to have grown much faster than previously thought last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Britain's gross domestic product grew 3.1 per cent in 2014, up from a previous estimate of 1.4 per cent, all other things being equal. Additionally this year's first quarter economic product growth would be revised up 0.1 percentage points to 0.4 per cent.

"This estimate has been revised within this release based on the incorporation of late data, new seasonal adjustment parameters and the introduction of an interim solution for deflators," the ONS said.

Using late data it now estimates construction output fell by just 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year, rather than by 1.1 per cent as previously thought.

"The new data means the economy is likely to have grown 0.4 per cent [in the first quarter of 2015] instead of the 0.3 per cent previously estimated by the ONS. Business survey data had pointed to a stronger start to the year than the official data," Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said.

(Source: ONS)

However, construction output fell 0.8 per cent month-on-month in April, from a 1.4 per cent rise in March.

It was weighed down by a broad-based decline in the repair and maintenance category - slumping 2.8 per cent during this period. Nevertheless, this was partially offset by new work, which rose by 1.6 per cent.

But economists said today's revisions show that these figures should be taken with some scepticism.

"The revisions suggest these latest data points should be treated with a major dose of salt, especially as the business survey data have pointed to stronger growth," Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said.

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