UK GDP slowdown takes hold in second quarter

GETTYBritain's economy grew again in the second quarter of 2017

GETTYBritain's economy grew again in the second quarter of 2017

Even with the improvement in retailing in the second quarter, the sector posted flat growth over the six months through June.

"Today's GDP figures reveal weak growth under a weak government, and expose the last seven years of Tory economic failure".

The retail trade, as well as film production and distribution were the largest contributors to service growth said the ONS, with the largest downward pressures coming from construction and manufacturing.

Finance minister Philip Hammond said the economy was "steady" and that more certainty about how Britain will leave the European Union in less than two years' time would help spur economic growth.

On an annual basis, GDP expanded by 1.7% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with the same period previous year.

The UK economy has struggled to gather pace following a lacklustre start to the year, diminishing the chance of the Bank of England hiking interest rates in the coming months.

"The services aggregate was the main driver to the slower growth in GDP, contributing 0.23 percentage points".

The initial estimate showed growth picking up from the first quarter of the year, when it was only 0.2%.

So far sterling seems little affected, trading at $1.3013 while the FTSE 100 is up 42 points so far at 7,477.

"Consumer spending is likely to be impacted through the second half of the year by an ongoing appreciable squeeze on purchasing power (indeed real incomes growth is likely to remain negative for some months to come despite June's dip in inflation)".

Commenting on the figures, Darren Morgan, head of national accounts at the Office for National Statistics, said: "The economy has experienced a notable slowdown in the first half of this year".

"Inflation is likely to resume its upward trajectory in the coming months and this could trigger a sharper economic slowdown by increasing the squeeze on consumer spending - a major driver of United Kingdom economic growth".

"The bigger picture is that there has been a significant failure by the central bank to stimulate growth in the United Kingdom economy".

And the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) anticipates that the United Kingdom economy will grow by just 1.3 per cent in 2017, a substantial downward revision from an earlier forecast of 1.7 per cent.

Overall, the latest figures are as expected, highlighting the weakness in the economy post the Brexit referendum.

This is up from 0.2% in the first quarter of the year, which was a significant fall from 0.7% recorded at the end of 2016.

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