UK's Q1 growth slowest since 2012

GDP data and May rate rise at Bank of England

The numbers, released today by the Office for National Statistics, are a major blow for the Government and far bleaker than economists had expected.

The pound fell as low as $1.3748 against the dollar, weaker by more than one percent, after data showed Britain's economy grew at its weakest pace since the fourth quarter of 2012.

The Institute of Directors, an organisation representing senior business leaders, stated that uncertainty over Brexit was restraining growth, while Philip Hammond, the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, laid the blame at the feet of the bad weather.

At the same time, while the more extreme than usual weather in March of this year likely had a negative effect, its overall impact on growth is estimated to be small.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year gilts, slumped 6 basis points to 1.44 percent, the super-long 30-year bond yields plunegd 4-1/2 basis points to 1.84 percent and the yield on the short-term 2-year traded almost 8 basis points lower at 0.81 percent by 10:20GMT.

The losses came after the Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product in the United Kingdom expanded by 0.1% in the first quarter, marking the slowest level of growth since the fourth quarter of 2012.

Downing Street this morning admitted that the figures were "clearly disappointing" but insisted that the "fundamentals of the economy" remained strong.

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40-year low and wages are increasing as we build a stronger, fairer economy that works for everyone.

Scotland's annual GDP growth for 2017 was 0.8 per cent higher than the previous 12 months but less than half that of the United Kingdom economy, which by comparison grew by more than double, at 1.8 per cent, over the same period.

Manufacturing growth slowed to 0.2 per cent although that was partially offset by a rise in energy production due to colder weather.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady blamed the bleak economic figures on the Conservative Government's policy of austerity.

At the start of April, economists had been pretty sure that the BoE would look past any weak first-quarter data because inflation has been running above its target and the unemployment rate is the lowest since 1975. It's the avalanche of cuts that has done the long-term damage.

'We need to modernise Britain's infrastructure. Schools, hospitals and other vital services are part of Britain's core economy.

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