Sector’s quarter-on-quarter contraction blamed for dip in overall GDP growth

Construction workers

UK economic growth slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter of 2015, with a fall in construction output partly blamed for the slowdown.

The UK economy previously grew by 0.6% over the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The slowdown over the first three months of this year was partly attributed to a decline in construction output of 1.6% over the period.

The much larger services sector increased output by 0.5% over the first quarter, while production and agriculture output both fell, by 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

A more detailed analysis of the data contained better news for construction. The ONS said the sector grew by 5.3% month-on-month in March - its first estimate of output growth for the month - suggesting construction output may be on the rebound after declines in output of 0.9% in February and 2.5% in January.

The ONS said the overall GDP figures represented a year-on year rise of 2.4% on the first quarter 2014.

It cautioned that the latest data was preliminary and “subject to revision”.