UK growth downgrade possible

Business | 9 Feb 2018 6:38 pm

A day after the Bank of England hinted that interest rates in the U.K. could rise at a faster pace than financial markets had been expecting, a run of economic figures suggest the British economy did not end 2017 as strongly as previously thought.

Official figures Friday showed a 1.3 percent monthly decline in industrial production in December and a 4.9 billion-pound (US$6.9 billion) trade deficit for goods and services, its worst since September 2016. Together, the figures raise the chances that economic growth might be revised down.

Last month, the Office for National Statistics estimated that the economy grew 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three-month period, a better-than-expected outturn that partly allowed the Bank of England to talk up the chance of rate increases. -AP

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