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Economy in Brief

UK GDP Slows in Q1; 4-Quarter Growth Lowest since Q4 2003
by Carol Stone April 22, 2005

GDP growth in the UK edged lower in Q1 to 0.6% from 0.7% in Q4. We indicated this possibility yesterday in discussing retail sales, which fell outright in March. The four-quarter performance thus stood at 2.8%, the slowest since Q4 2003.

All the major industry sectors participated in the weakening. The overall distribution sector, which includes retail and other trade, as well as hotels, restaurants and repair services, declined 0.1% after gaining 0.2% in Q4. Total services increased 0.8%, marginally less than in Q4. Industrial output also declined 0.1%, the same as in Q4; this sector is now down from a year ago, by 0.2%. Construction activity grew 0.6%, compared to the prior period's 1.1%, and the agricultural sector lost 0.8% after increasing 0.9% in Q4.

United Kingdom
% Changes, Seasonally Adjusted
Q1 2005 Q4 2004 Year Ago 2004 2003 2002
Total GDP 0.6 0.7 2.8 3.1 2.2 1.8
Industry -0.1 -0.1 -0.2 0.4 -0.1 -2.5
Services 0.8 0.8 3.6 4.1 2.5 2.7
  Distribution, etc. -0.1 0.2 2.2 5.1 3.0 4.7
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