Finance News

GDP growth remains at zero for second consecutive month: ONS

Weakening services and falling production resulted in no growth in the three months to January.

Rozi Jones
|
11th March 2020
slow down road
"For the economy to have flatlined in January shows that while the Boris bounce may have created a feel-good factor there was no hard economic follow-up."

Rolling three-month growth was zero in January 2020, the same as Q4 2019, according to the latest figures from the ONS.

The ONS says weakening services and falling production resulted in no growth in the three months to January.

The services sector was flat following a period of subdued growth and although construction showed relatively strong growth of 1.4% over the same period, production fell by 1.0%, continuing its longer-term decline and offsetting the growth seen in other areas.

GDP also saw no monthly growth in January, with growth in services offset by falls in production and construction.

Rob Kent-Smith, head of GDP at the ONS, said: “The economy continued to show no growth overall in the latest three months. Growth in construction, driven by housebuilding, offset yet another decline in manufacturing, particularly the drinks, cars and machinery industries.

“The dominant services sector also showed no growth in the latest three months with falls in retail and telecoms balanced by strength in rentals, employment and education.”

Ayush Ansal, chief investment officer at Crimson Black Capital, commented: “Given the growing panic around the coronavirus and Wednesday’s emergency rate cut, few will be dwelling on the fact GDP was flat in January and the three months leading up to it.

“But for the economy to have flatlined in January shows that while the Boris bounce may have created a feel-good factor there was no hard economic follow-up. On this evidence, sentiment flared up but quickly fizzled out.

“For many, the performance of the economy in January will feel almost irrelevant given the coronavirus-fuelled events of the past few days but it’s not.

“This weak GDP data suggests the UK economy is going into a period of potentially radical uncertainty with zero momentum.”

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