The UK economy is expected to have recorded a marked slowdown in the first quarter of this year when official figures for GDP growth are released on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the final quarter of last year, though economists are suggesting that could have fallen by as much as half in the first three months of 2016.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) estimates GDP growth was 0.3 per cent between December 2015 and March. This is slightly below the consensus estimate of 0.4 per cent, which would still be a noticeable slowdown.
“Softness in some of the recent official data and survey evidence has led to some commentators warning that the first quarter saw a sharp slowdown in growth,” said Oxford Economics.
If the UK were to have grown by just 0.3 per cent, that would be the slowest rate of expansion since the end of 2014.
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“GDP growth is expected to have been limited by appreciable slower services growth and marked contracted in industrial output,” said Howard Archer at IHS Global.
The first quarter of the year saw sharp volatility across global financial markets. The FTSE 100 entered bear market territory as it slumped to a low of 5,536 and oil prices went below $28 a barrel.