Zero growth for UK economy in April

The UK economy showed no growth in April as wet weather hit retail sales and construction.

Rainfall during the month was recorded at 155% of the long-term average across the country.

Monthly data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that gross domestic product (GDP) flatlined, which was in line with economists’ expectations. It followed a rise of 0.4% in March.

There was growth for the services sector in April, for the fourth month in a row, but this was offset by declines in manufacturing and construction activity.

Over the three months to April, the economy grew by 0.7% compared with the three months to January.

Commenting on the GDP figures, Debapratim De, director of economic research at Deloitte, said:

“With purchasing managers indices showing both manufacturing and construction sectors gained momentum in May, we expect activity to pick up, delivering good growth over the second quarter.

“Today’s data is unlikely to change the Bank of England’s thinking on policy easing. With wages rising at close to 6% and the economy picking up steam, the Bank will be in no rush to cut interest rates.”