UK economic growth revised down to 0.4% for end-2017

Services sector saw slowest expansion since 2011

Tighter budgets: UK households felt more pressure on their spending power. Photograph: PA Wire

Tighter budgets: UK households felt more pressure on their spending power. Photograph: PA Wire

 

UK economic growth was been revised down to 0.4 per cent for the final quarter of 2017 in the second estimate of national income produced by the Office for National Statistics.

Slight revisions to the output of growth in both the production and services industries were enough for growth to go from being rounded up to 0.5 per cent to instead being rounded down to 0.4 per cent.

The figures also showed that the UK’s vast services sector, which accounts for about 80 per cent of national income, experienced its slowest pace of growth since 2011 during 2017.

Retailers, cafes, cinemas

The slowdown was mainly due to weakness in consumer-facing services, such as retailers, cafes and cinemas, the ONS said. Household budgets were under pressure last year as the fall in the pound following the Brexit vote led to prices increasing faster than wages.

Head of GDP Darren Morgan said: “Services continued to drive growth at the end of 2017, but with a number of consumer-facing industries slowing, as price rises led to household budgets being squeezed.

“A number of very small revisions to mining, energy generation and services were enough to see a slight downward revision to quarterly growth overall, despite headline services output being unchanged.”

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018