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Financial News: UK GDP Rebounds On Services, Construction Output

UK GDP Rebounds On Services, Construction Output

03/13/2024 - 08:26:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK economy rebounded in January on growth in services and construction output, underscoring that the country exited a technical recession.

Gross domestic product posted an expansion of 0.2 percent in January, reversing a 0.1 percent fall in December, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed Wednesday. The rate came in line with economists' expectations.

The service sector was the largest contributor to the expansion as output rebounded 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent fall. Construction output also recovered in January, up 1.1 percent, in contrast to a drop of 0.5 percent.

On the other hand, industrial production decreased 0.2 percent after a growth of 0.6 percent in December. Within overall output, manufacturing remained flat.

On a yearly basis, GDP fell 0.3 percent in January as expected.

Year-on-year, industrial output growth softened to 0.5 percent from 0.6 percent, data showed. Manufacturing advanced 2.0 percent, slower than the 2.3 percent rise in December.

In the three months to January, real GDP fell 0.1 percent from the preceding three months. Looking over the longer term, GDP slid 0.2 percent compared with the three months to January 2023.

Capital Economics economist Ruth Gregory said the 0.2 percent expansion suggests that the UK economy may already have moved out of recession and implies there is some upside to GDP growth outlook of flat growth.

The British Chambers of Commerce Head of Research David Bharier said the 0.1 percent decline in GDP in the three months to January provides further evidence that the UK economy remains in a precarious state.

However, economic growth of 0.2 percent in January may indicate the 2023 technical recession could soon be over, the economist added.

Another data from the ONS showed that the visible trade deficit widened to GBP 14.5 billion in January from GBP 13.99 billion in December. At the same time, the surplus on trade in services remained unchanged at GBP 11.39 billion.

As a result, the total trade gap widened to GBP 3.1 billion from GBP 2.6 billion a month ago.

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