With the polls opening next week, the latest set of economic data suggests that the picture is not quite as rosy as it has been portrayed in the election soundbites.
The Office of National Statistics has shown that in the first quarter of 2015 the economy grew by 0.3%, half the rate of the previous 3 months. The economic commentators had been expecting a cooling down to 0.5% because some of the data coming in had been weak (i.e construction), but 0.3% was a surprise.
Across the main sectors of the economy, the performance for Quarter One of 2015 is shown below:
- Services 0.5%
- Production -0.2%
- Construction -1.6%
- Agricuture -0.2%
- TOTAL 0.3%.
The total figure is positive because of the fact that the services sector accounts for 78.4% of the economy. Construction only accounts for 6.4% of UK plc.
If we add these poor GDP growth figures to zero inflation numbers, then it still seems that the first rise in UK interest rates is a while off yet.