The UK is the slowest-growing advanced economy on earth, official statistics confirmed on Friday.
This means that the UK economy, which had held up better than expected in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, is now lagging behind all of the other countries in the G7 group of advanced nations and all other European countries.
“During Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017, the UK experienced the slowest growth of 0.2 per cent among European countries and the G7, below that of the USA and Japan, which grew at 0.3 per cent,” The ONS said.
“In Q1, Canada experienced the highest growth at 0.9 per cent.”
All of the areas included in the ONS’ international comparisons grew faster than the UK in Q1 2017.
Germany experienced growth of 0.6 per cent, while Italy and France experienced growth of 0.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.
The combined economies of the European Union grew by 0.6 per cent, marking 16 consecutive quarters of positive growth. During the same period, the group of euro area countries grew by 0.6 per cent.
Last year marked the first time since the financial crisis began in 2007 that all of the EU’s 28 member states experienced economic growth at the same time.
Analysts predict the UK’s growth rate will pick up marginally in Q2, but the longer-term outlook will likely be weaker if consumers rein their spending in.
The ONS figures show that the UK economy only expanded because there are now more people in the country than there were three months ago. GDP per capita in the quarter did not grow at all during the quarter.
Though the figures are only for one quarter, they add to other bleak economic indicators.
The ONS also revealed today that UK households are now experiencing the most prolonged squeeze on income since 1976-77.
Adjusted for inflation, incomes fell 1.4 per cent in the first three months of 2017 as prices rose sharply while wage growth was slow.
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