The UK economy grew by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2015, a major miss in comparison to forecasts.
That’s the lowest growth figure since Q1 2013. This report is some of the last big economic data before the general election on May 7.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) had suggested that the UK would see 0.6% growth in Q1 (the same as in Q4 2014), but the consensus was more negative: Analysts generally expected a 0.5% expansion.
Whether the figure is an outlier or the sign of an oncoming slowdown remains to be seen.
Barclays analysts were amount the most bullish, expecting a consumer-driven 0.8% rise in GDP, based on low oil prices.
The pound slumped as the news broke, back below $US1.52: