The UK economy is expected to post a slowdown in growth when official gross domestic product (GDP) figures are published today.
GDP is forecast to have eased back to 0.4% in the first quarter of 2016, down from 0.6% in the fourth quarter of last year, following lacklustre growth from the services, manufacturing and construction sectors.
A number of experts believe GDP could even deliver its weakest performance since the fourth quarter of 2014, dropping back to 0.3% for the first three months of the year.
Mounting gloom over the global economy, coupled with concerns over Britain's forthcoming referendum on Europe and volatile commodity prices, have dealt a blow to business confidence. It has left the Bank of England in no hurry to raise interest rates.