Belfast Telegraph

Economic recovery weaker, says Office for National Statistics

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

The UK's economic recovery has been weaker than previously thought, according to revised official figures suggesting that growth this year could be lower than previously forecast.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed the economy was increasingly reliant on household spending as business investment fades at its fastest rate in five years.

The revised figures showed that while third quarter growth was in line with earlier estimates at 0.7%, readings for the previous five periods have all been lowered.

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter was only 2.6% ahead of the same period last year, down from a previous estimate of 3%.

Meanwhile, Britain's ballooning current account deficit has soared to £27bn, equalling a record 6% of GDP and described as unsustainable by one business group.

Samuel Tombs, senior UK economist at consultancy Capital Economics: "The latest set of national accounts leave the UK's economic recovery looking more fragile than it seemed before."

He said the revisions mean annual growth was likely to be 2.6%.

Belfast Telegraph