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UK economy sees Q1 growth but remains fragile

STORY: Strikes were one of the factors weighing on the UK economy at the start of this year.

That was according to the Office for National Statistics on Friday (May 12).

It also cited widespread falls in activity across the services sector, a tight labor market, interest rate hikes and the after-effects of Brexit.

While the economy grew 0.1% in the first three months of 2023, in line with economists’ predictions, there was an unexpectedly sharp 0.3% drop in March.

Analysts had expected output to hold steady in the final month of the quarter, underscoring how fragile the recovery remains.

Britain's economy remained 0.5% smaller than in the fourth quarter of 2019, shortly before the health crisis.

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This marked a weaker rebound than any other major advanced economy.

Output in March was only marginally higher than in February 2020, the last full month before the health crisis really hit.

The Bank of England forecast on Thursday (May 11) that Britain's economy would grow 0.25% over the year as a whole.

While that would mark a weak expansion, it's an upgrade on the previous prediction of a long but shallow recession.