Growth falls in first quarter as inflation starts to bite

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The UK’s economy grew by just 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of the year with rising inflation blamed as the main cause.

The figures, out this morning from the The Office for National Statistics which could still be revised, also reflected the slower pace in service sector, which sank to 0.3% growth against 0.8% at the end of 2016.

The service sector accounts for 78 % of the economy but the ONS also said that output in the construction sector was also dragging on GDP after expanding by 0.2% in the first three months of the year following 1% growth in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Industrial production expanded by 0.3% over the period, with manufacturing increasing by 0.5% thanks to a jump in motor vehicle output, while agriculture growth eased to 0.3% in the first quarter from 1% in the final quarter of 2016.