UK GDP growth for 2015 will be weaker than last year, says Office for National Statistics

 
Catherine Neilan
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Private spending has been robust (Source: Getty)

The UK's GDP is still growing - but 2015 is shaping up to be weaker than 2014, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics this morning.

The economy grew by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of the year, unrevised from the first estimate, with private spending and investment "robust". It is the 10th consecutive quarter of growth, with an average rate of 2.5 per cent.

But this was dampened by "marked weakness in the contribution to growth from net overseas trade".

It marks a drop-off from the second quarter, when GDP grew 0.7 per cent and is lower than the three-year average, which stands at 0.6 per cent.

The ONS also noted that GDP growth was only slightly above the OBR's forecast, suggesting the output gap is "narrowing only slightly" and still remains in marginally negative territory.

Inflation as measured in CPI has been close to zero for most of this year - a step down from the average rates of 2013 and 2014. This has been driven by low prices for goods in the CPI basket - as goods-based inflation has been "firmly negative"- and a dip in services inflation, though it has been steady at around 2.5 per cent for much of the year.

But employment is at a record high and earnings are up - almost 70 per cent of full-time workers experienced positive real earnings growth in the year to April 2015, twice the number seen in 2011.

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