- Unexpected March downturn brings recession closer
GDP grew by 0.8 per cent in the first quarter: less than the 1.0 per cent we forecast a month ago, predominantly due to weaker services growth. Supply-chain problems in the motor industry contributed significantly but there was weak growth in much of the retail sector.
With consumer confidence indicators continuing to weaken we expect growth to be largely flat in April and close to flatlining in the second quarter overall.
The first estimate of GDP expenditure components for the first quarter was for a decline in business investment of 0.5 per cent. With uncertainty from the war in Ukraine likely to weigh on investment further, we may see yet further delays to recovery from the Covid shock, reducing the capital stock and supply capacity yet further.