Brexit stockpiling boosts first quarter growth to 0.5%

The UK financial system accelerated within the first quarter of 12 months to develop by 0.5%, in accordance to preliminary official figures.

The Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) credited stockpiling by companies and, notably, a rush to full orders forward of the Brexit that by no means got here on 29 March.

The speed of growth was up from 0.2% within the closing three months of 2018.

Economists have warned that the stockpiling increase is a short lived issue as a result of shopping for early solely reduces orders later.

The ONS mentioned it contributed 0.7% proportion factors to growth with web commerce taking a document 2.2% off.

That was due to a surge in imports.

Increased pre-Brexit demand from abroad was clear to see within the newest commerce figures, additionally launched by the ONS on Friday.

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They confirmed the largest deficit since information started in 1998 for the UK’s total commerce steadiness – the worth of imports versus exports.

The unfavourable determine got here in at £18.3bn between January and March as UK corporations packed their warehouses.

The growth efficiency was broadly predicted by economists and the Financial institution of England.

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