UK economic growth downgraded for final three months of 2017

The UK economy recorded slower-than-expected growth in the final three months of last year, posing fresh questions for the Bank of England as it eyes a further hike to interest rates.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4% in its second estimate for October to December 2017, revising down a first estimate of 0.5%.

The move caught economists off guard, with consensus figures predicting that the statistics agency would stick by its initial estimate made in January.

It means growth stuttered towards the end of 2017, failing to accelerate beyond the 0.4% recorded during the third quarter.

The ONS said the fourth-quarter shift was caused by "a small downward revision" to output from the production industries.

It also downgraded annual GDP growth to 1.7% in 2016/17, down from an initial reading of 1.8% and below the 1.9% expansion recorded across 2015/16.

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