UK GDP may have risen 0.5% in first quarter

April 23, 2011 - 0:0

Britain’s economy probably resumed growth in the first quarter with less momentum than needed to restore the pace of the recovery, economists say.

Gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent after contracting the same amount in the fourth quarter, according to the median forecast of 27 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The Office for National Statistics in London will publish the data at 9:30 a.m. on April 27.
Minutes of this month’s Bank of England decision showed officials were concerned that an interest-rate increase could dent consumer confidence and that recent data had “probably been to the downside.” Economists from at least five banks including Societe Generale SA this week pushed back forecasts for the first rate increase.
“There’s more uncertainty on how sustainable the recovery is,” said Brian Hillard, an economist at Societe Generale and a former central bank official. “That’s what holding back the bank on raising rates.”
National Australia Bank economist David Tinsley on Thursday changed his forecast for the first rate increase after retail sales data proved “disappointing.” Economists at Barclays Capital, Nomura International Plc and Citigroup Inc. also revised their forecasts this week.
(Source: Bloomberg)