Corrects headline, intro and the second para
The UK economy expanded in February but at a slower than expected pace, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed Tuesday.
Gross domestic product grew 0.4 percent, following a revised 2.2 percent fall in January. But this was slower than the expected growth of 0.6 percent.
February’s GDP was 7.8 percent below the levels seen in February 2020, data showed.
Driven by wholesale and retail trade, services output gained 0.2 percent in February. The production sector also grew in February, by 1.0 percent. This was mainly because of manufacturing output picking up by 1.3 percent.
Underpinned by new work and repair and maintenance, construction output was up 1.6 percent.
Another report from the ONS showed that the visible trade gap widened to GBP 16.44 billion in February from GBP 12.59 billion in January.
The total trade deficit increased sharply to GBP 7.12 billion from GBP 3.37 billion a month ago.
On a monthly basis, exports and imports of goods increased 9.9 percent and 17.4 percent, respectively.