Britain’s economy has grown by just 0.3 percent in the second quarter of 2017, marking what government statisticians are calling a “notable slowdown” in the first half of the year.
The slight expansion follows a 0.2 percent growth between January and March and was not far off market predictions for the eagerly anticipated estimate of UK economic growth, a year on from the country’s EU referendum.
Official data for gross domestic product showed that of the three big sectors of the economy, only services were bigger than they were in March, with a growth of 0.5 percent over the quarter.
Official data for gross domestic product showed that of the three big sectors of the economy, only services were bigger at the end of June than in March, posting growth of 0.5% over the quarter.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond tried to play down speculation that economic growth is beginning to stall.
He said: “This is a steady performance in the second quarter, we’ve grown for four and a half years, we’ve created record levels of employment, so we should be proud of that, but we shouldn’t be complacent.”
Despite relatively strong growth in the latter half of 2016, the recent slowdown is being attributed by many to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
Jasper Lawler, a Senior Analyst at London Capital Group said: “You have to acknowledge that there is a slowdown taking place, a de-acceleration in the UK economy and that was what was feared all along in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, and it does seem like it’s coming to pass now”
Although experts were forced to eat their words when the UK was not plunged into recession in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum, consumers are now starting to feel the strain on their pockets.
They have been hit by the fall in the value of the pound, which has led to a rise in inflation.