Friday, April 24, 2009
GDP down 1.9% in first quarter
Posted by David Smith at 09:40 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Alistair Darling primed the markets for a bad first quarter domestic product figure in his budget but the outturn, down 1.9%, was worse than expected. There's hope in the surveys to suggest the pace of decline will moderate in the second quarter, but the fall helps explain the huge deterioration in the public finances.

Both manufacturing, down 6.2% and services, down 1.2%, fell by more than in the fourth quarter of last year though construction output fell by less. The extent to which the fall was again due to very aggressive de-stocking will help determine the pace of the recovery when it comes. More details here.

Retail sales again surprised on the upside, rising by 0.3% in March compared with a year earlier. We are still spending on food and clothing, if not household goods. More details on that release here.