On the expenditure side, household expenditure rose at a softer 1.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with 1.5 percent in Q4; and gross fixed capital formation went up at a slower 1.5 percent (vs 4 percent in Q4) as business investment growth eased to 2 percent (vs 2.3 percent in Q4). Meanwhile, government spending grew by 1.2 percent, faster than 0.2 percent in the previous period.
Exports jumped 2.4 percent, following a 3.2 percent gain in Q4; while imports rose at a slower 0.6 percent, after increasing by 1.7 percent the previous period. As a result, the trade deficit narrowed to £3.174 billion from £5.711 billion in Q1 2017.
On the production side, the service industries expanded 1.2 percent (vs 1.3 percent in Q4), as output rose for: distribution, hotels and restaurants (0.9 percent vs 0.5 percent); transport storage and communications (2.9 percent, the same as in Q4); business services and finance (2 percent vs 2.3 percent); and government and other services (0.1 percent, the same as in Q4). Industrial production went up 2.4 percent (vs 2.3 percent in Q4), as output rose for: manufacturing (2.5 percent vs 3.1 percent); electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (4.1 percent vs -1.4 percent); and water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (1.3 percent vs 1.8 percent). By contrast, mining and quarrying fell 0.1 percent (vs 0.9 percent in Q4). Construction expansion slowed to 0.3 percent from 4.4 percent in Q4.