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UK economic performance plateaus

The UK economy has rebounded from the surprise contraction at the end of 2010, according to new figures released this morning.

The Office for National Statistics said GDP in the first quarter of 2011 grew by 0.5%.

However, because this follows the 0.5% contraction in the final quarter of last year, the economy has, in effect, plateaued.

“Abstracting from the snow, we have an economy on a plateau” said Joe Grice chief economist at ONS.

The bad weather in early December was partly blamed for the earlier setback although the ONS said that growth in the economy would have been broadly flat even allowing for snow-related disruption.

UK Construction output decreased by 4.7% in Q1 compared with a 2.3% in 2010 Q4 and there were huge bouncebacks in activity in the transport, storage and communications sectors, though this was largely activity that had been cancelled by the bad weather.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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