UK economic growth slows more than expected in February

UK economic growth slows more than expected in February

Growth in Britain's economy slowed more sharply than expected in February as gross domestic product rose by 0.1%, according to official figures on Monday, down from 0.8% growth in January.

The expansion was less than a 0.3% increase in a Reuters poll of economists.

Britain's economy was 1.5% larger than two years ago, just before the country was hit by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Office for National Statistics said in February.

Britain's economy fell by more than 9% in 2020, its biggest annual fall since World War One, but rebounded sharply in 2021 and suffered only a modest hit from the Omicron variant of coronavirus in December.

Inflation caused by rising energy and commodity prices - partly linked to the war in Ukraine and ongoing supply-chain difficulties since the pandemic has downgraded their growth forecasts for 2022, according to economists.

In October last month, the Office for Budget Responsibility cut its forecast for growth in 2022 to 3.8% from 6.0% in its previous forecast of October, and predicted that inflation would hit a 40 year high of 8.7% later this year.

In February, Britain's dominant services sector drove monthly growth - boosted by travel and tourism - while industrial output fell by 0.6% on the month, due to falls in car production and other areas due to component shortages.