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Economy stagnant in early 2020

UK gross domestic product (GDP) was flat in the three months to January 2020, according to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Budget day.

This represents the third successive three-month period with GDP growth at 0.0 per cent.

Although there was growth of 1.4% in the construction industry during the period, manufacturing was down by 1.0%, leading to an overall flatline.

Rob Kent-Smith, head of GDP at ONS, said:

"The dominant service sector also showed no growth in the latest three months with falls in retail and telecoms balanced by strength in rentals, employment and education."

The Office for Budget Responsibility also published an updated growth forecast alongside Chancellor Rishi Sunak's debut Budget speech.

It lowered the GDP growth forecast for 2020 to 1.1% from the 1.4% it was predicting this time last year. These figures don't take into account the potential economic impact of the coronavirus COVID-19.

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