The Office for National Statics (ONS) released their second estimate for the first quarter of the year’s economic growth in the UK at 9:30 this morning. The estimate was in-line with their first estimate at 0.8%, and was the fifth consecutive increase. This is a positive release for the UK economy following yesterdays, impressive retail sales figures.
According to the ONS: "This is the longest period of continuous growth since the 2008-09 downturn and GDP now stands at 0.6% below its Q1 2008 pre-downturn peak"
In the FX market sterling was trading at session highs vs the greenback prior to the release, reaching 1.6916. Though the GDP data was as expected, it was accompanied by government borrowing data that was higher than expected which led to sterling weakening. Public Sector Net Borrowing was £9.6bn vs £3.4bn that had been estimated. This figure highlights that the UK government has some way to go to get the significant level of debt back to pre-crisis levels.