Britain’s vast services sector propelled the economy back into growth in the first quarter of the year, making up for falls in both manufacturing and construction output.
The country’s official economic data on Thursday showed an economy carried aloft by its shopkeepers, waiters, truck drivers and car mechanics.
“There is little sign of rebalancing,” said Amit Kara, an economist at UBS. “The manufacturing sector has shrunk in three out of the last four quarters, whereas the services sector has expanded in three out of the last four quarters.”
Britain’s economy has been flat over the past few years. Its manufacturing and construction sectors have fallen into deep double-dip recessions, while the services sector has grown slowly but steadily since the crisis. Construction output is still about 20 per cent below the economy’s pre-crisis peak and manufacturing output is still about 10 per cent below.