Britain’s economy grows by just 0.1% in first three months of 2018

Britain’s economy grows by its slowest rate since the 2012 Eurozone crisis as Chancellor Philip Hammond blames SNOW for the gloomy figures

  • UK gross domestic product rose by just 0.1% in the first three months of 2018
  • Construction tumbled by 3.3% as the Beast from the East bought snow
  • Chancellor Philip Hammond blamed the snow for the bleak economic figures  
  • The figures will be a major blow to ministers and are bleaker than expectations 

Britain’s economy grew at its slowest rate since the 2012 Eurozone crisis this year – as Philip Hammond blames the snow for the gloomy figures.

UK gross domestic product was up by just 0.1 per cent in the first three months of the year, the Office for National Statistics said.

This is the slowest pace since the end of 2012 at the height of the Eurozone crisis, which saw the EU pump tens of billions pf pounds into Greece’s economy to save it from collapse. 

Mr Hammond quickly tried to blame the poor figures on the snowy weather which hit the UK this year. 

But the ONS said the Beast from the East only had a ‘limited effect’ on the economy overall.

Construction rates fell by 3.3 per cent from January to March – dragging the rest of the economy down with it. 

The pound tanked against the dollar following the news, falling 0.7 per cent to 1.38 US dollars.

And it also fell against the euro, with sterling was down 0.3 per cent at 1.14 euros.

Britain’s economy has nearly grounded to a halt in the first three months of the year – growing by just 01. per cent, figures out today reveal.

Rob Kent-Smith, head of national accounts at the ONS, said: ‘Our initial estimate shows the UK economy growing at its slowest pace in more than five years with weaker manufacturing growth, subdued consumer-facing industries and construction output falling significantly.’

Pound plummets against the dollar after worst growth since 2012

After news of the bleak economic figures was released this morning the pound tanked against the dollar falling 0.7 per cent to 1.38 US dollars.

The pound plummeted against the dollar and the euro after today’s poor economic figures.

The UK’s GDP (gross domestic product) grew by just 0.1 percent in the first three months of the year.

After news of the bleak economic figures was released this morning the pound tanked against the dollar falling 0.7 per cent to 1.38 US dollars.

And it also fell against the euro, with sterling was down 0.3 per cent at 1.14 euros.  

He added: ‘While the snow had some impact on the economy, particularly in construction and some areas of retail, its overall effect was limited with the bad weather actually boosting energy supply and online sales.’

Mr Hammond insisted Britain’s economy is still fundamentally strong – despite the gloomy figures.

He said: ‘Today’s data reflects some impact from the exceptional weather that we experienced last month, but our economy is strong and we have made significant progress.

‘Our economy has grown every year since 2010 and is set to keep growing, unemployment is at a 40 year low, and wages are increasing as we build a stronger, fairer economy that works for everyone. 

‘We are committed to locking in a bright future and better quality of life for everyone which is why we are investing in our people, building new infrastructure, and supporting our vital public services.’ 

But John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: ‘Today’s disappointing GDP figures further confirm that continued Tory austerity cuts are weakening growth.

‘The Chancellor will want to blame this all on a bit of bad weather, but the ONS say this had a limited impact. The truth is that the last eight years of Tory economic failure has allowed our economy to be left exposed.

‘This is the weakest Q1 growth since 2012. It’s clear to everyone except Philip Hammond that our economy is in need of increased investment and working families are struggling with the cost of living and the burden of increasing household debt.

Chancellor Philip Hammond blamed the gloomy figures on the snowy weather which hit Britain in the first three months of the year

The figures are a blow for Theresa May (pictured earlier this week outside Parliament) who has said she should be trusted with the UK economy over Labour

‘The next Labour government will end austerity and provide the investment vitally needed to kick-start the economy to deliver rising living standards for the many, not the few.’

The figures show that production increased by 0.7 per cent with manufacturing growth slowing to 0.2 per cent. 

The services industries were the largest contributor to gross domestic product growth, increasing by 0.3 per cent.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady blamed the bleak economic figures on the Conservative Government’s policy of austerity.

She said: ‘One week of snow doesn’t explain a decade of weak growth, dismal productivity and falling wages. It’s the avalanche of cuts that has done the long-term damage.

‘We need to modernise Britain’s infrastructure. The government should set up a National Investment Bank to upgrade roads and rail, and to bring high-speed broadband and clean energy to every part of Britain.

‘And it’s time to get our public services back up to strength. Schools, hospitals and other vital services are part of Britain’s core economy. If they remain starved of resources, the rest of the economy will continue to struggle too.’     

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