The U.K. economy rebounded at a stronger-than- expected pace in January following a downbeat end to 2018, Office for National Statistics figures published Tuesday show.
Gross domestic product grew 0.5 percent, the biggest monthly gain in more than two years, after it shrank by 0.4 percent in December. It left growth in the latest three months at 0.2 percent, maintaining the pace recorded in the fourth quarter.
The comeback in January was broad based, with construction, manufacturing and the dominant services sector all increasing output following cutbacks in December.
The return of real wage growth is underpinning demand but the data may do little to boost optimism, as Brexit fears mount. PMI surveys point to growth of 0.1 percent in the first quarter, matching the weakest pace in over six years.
The figures come as Theresa May prepares to put her Brexit deal to another parliamentary vote Tuesday. The prime minister secured last-minute changes late Monday but it remains to be seen if they are enough to win the backing of lawmakers.
Exporters are struggling against a backdrop of global trade tensions and the weakest growth since the financial crisis, robbing them of the benefits of a cheaper pound. The trade deficit hit a 19-month high in January.
Source : Bloomberg