UK economic growth confirmed at 0.5% for first quarter

supermarket shopping basket
Image caption Household spending remained squeezed, the ONS data showed

The UK economy expanded by 0.5% in the first three months of 2011, the third estimate for the period from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed.

The ONS also reaffirmed that consumer spending during the three months declined by 0.6%, the biggest fall since the second quarter of 2009.

Construction output was revised upwards in the third release of data.

However, this was cancelled out by a downward revision to manufacturing.

Philip Shaw, an analyst at Investec, said: "There is nothing that is too surprising [in these figures]."

Mr Shaw added that he was more focused on factors outside the UK that could affect the economy in the future.

Specifically, he said it was important that Greece's debt woes were "sorted out in an orderly manner", and that US economic growth picked up.

Mr Shaw added that the latest figures from the ONS meant that the Bank of England was likely to keep interest rates at 0.5% for the time being.

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