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The UK economy logged a weaker growth in the fourth quarter after the partial recovery seen in the third quarter, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday.
Gross domestic product grew by 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter, following a revised 16.1 percent growth in the third quarter. Economists had forecast a quarterly growth of 0.5 percent.

Despite two consecutive quarters of growth, the level of GDP in the UK was still 6.6 percent below where it was in the fourth quarter, prior to the pandemic.

The production-side of GDP showed that the slowdown was largely driven by the services sector. Due to the higher restrictions on activity in place, services output gained only 0.6 percent.

Production rose 1.8 percent and manufacturing output expanded 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Construction output grew 4.6 percent and farm output was up 0.7 percent.

Data showed that the economy logged its biggest annual fall on record in 2020, with GDP falling 9.9 percent. All four sub-sectors posted annual declines.

In December, GDP grew by 1.2 percent after falling by revised 2.3 percent in November, when there were more extensive restrictions to activity.

The services sector acted as the main contribution to growth in December, increasing by 1.7 percent as a number of consuming facing industries reopened following the easing of restrictions in December.

In December, the visible trade deficit narrowed to GBP 14.3 billion from GBP 14.79 billion in November, the ONS said in a separate communique. Exports grew 1.5 percent, while imports fell 0.2 percent.

The overall trade deficit, including goods and services, narrowed to GBP 6.2 billion from GBP 6.6 billion a month ago.


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