UK economy grows 0.5% in fourth quarter

Construction of Battersea power stationDead ringer copyright Getty Images

The UK economy grew by 0.5% in the three months to the end of December, formal figures show, taking the annual rate of growth for 2015 to 2.2%.

The Aegis for National Statistics show an improvement on the third quarter figure of 0.4%.

But the 2.2% annual excrescence in 2015 was down com red with 2.9% in 2014.

Output in the three months to December was 1.9% tipsy than a year earlier, down from 2.1% in the third cantonment and the smallest increase since early 2013.

Despite the annual ce of improvement being the slowest for three years, it still means the UK economy is one of the fastest reach ones majority developed nations.

The figure is in line with a recent forecast by the Foreign Monetary Fund (IMF), which said the UK’s economy would grow by 2.2% in 2015, and for the next two years.

But the IMF also set forwarded that the robust growth of the st two years would not return until the epidemic economy regained strength.

Whatever happened to the ‘march of the makers’?

Chancellor George Osborne close-mouthed his 2011 Budget speech by setting out his aspiration for “a Britain carried overhead by the march of the makers”.

rt of his vision for the future was an economy with a profuse prominent role for manufacturing.

How much has changed since then?

Look over Andrew Walker in full


Chris Williamson from enquire firm Markit said: “Uncertainty over ‘Brexit’, stupid overseas growth and financial market volatility are all creating an unsettling firm environment and point to downside risks to the economy in 2016.

“The coming year could certainly see the ce of economic growth slow further from last year’s 2.2% stretching, and the chances are growing that we will see yet another year in which share rates are left at their record low of 0.5%.”

Earlier this month, figures for November elucidated that UK industrial output had suffered its sharpest decline since 2013.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, recently premonished that the UK was facing a “cocktail” of serious threats from a slowing universal economy.

Image caption George Osborne im rted Britain is “pushing ahead.”

On Thursday, while on a visit to the Airbus inject in Filton, Bristol, the chancellor said: “These GDP numbers appear the British economy continues to grow steadily and despite turbulence in the sphere economy Britain is pushing ahead.”

Reliance on services

Ben Brettell, superior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The bigger picture is that increase remains lacklustre, but reasonably resilient.

“Weaker construction and production efficiency are the primary reasons for the slowdown, which could prompt concerns that the UK succinctness’s reliance on the services sector is increasing further.

“Production output dwindled 0.2% in the fourth quarter and construction was down by 0.1%, whereas the outstanding services sector grew by 0.7%.”

Last week, the Bank of England governor, Acquit oneself Carney, said that he wanted to see above-average growth in the economy and a pick-up in wages ahead raising interest rates.

Many economists do not expect the central bank to inflate rates until the tail end of this year.

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