UK GDP rose by 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, in line with expectations, but annualised figures dropped back.
While the quarterly figure was up on the 0.4 per cent recorded between July and September last year, year-on-year growth stood at 1.9 per cent, the lowest level since Q1 2013.
In its preliminary estimate of GDP for the quarter, the Office for National Statistics attributed the growth in part to a 0.7 per cent growth in output from the services sector and a 0.6 per cent increase in agriculture.
Production decreased by 0.2 per cent, while construction output dropped by 0.1 per cent.
GDP increased by 2.2 per cent as a whole in 2015, but this was down on 2014’s 2.9 per cent.
While the figures met expectations, Vicky Redwood, chief UK economist for research firm Capital Economics, warned the 0.5 per cent was “still a bit below the economy’s probable trend rate, meaning that growth still isn’t strong enough to meet one of [Bank of England governor Mark] Carney’s three conditions for raising interest rates”.
She also noted that the UK faced “a number of headwinds” in the coming year, potentially including an EU referendum and rising inflation.