The 0.1% qoq growth in UK in Q1 not only missed market expectations, it’s also the weakest quarterly growth figure in five years.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond blamed the weak data on weather. He said in an email statement that “today’s data reflects some impact from the exceptional weather that we experienced last month, but our economy is strong and we have made significant progress.” He added that “our economy has grown every year since 2010 and is set to keep growing, unemployment is at a 40 year low, and wages are increasing.”

On the other hand, Rob Kent-Smith, the ONS’ head of national accounts said in a statement that “our initial estimate shows the UK economy growing at its slowest pace in more than five years with weaker manufacturing growth, subdued consumer-facing industries and construction output falling significantly.” And, “while the snow had some impact on the economy, particularly in construction and some areas of retail, its overall effect was limited with the bad weather actually boosting energy supply and online sales.”

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