London (AFP) – British economic growth slowed sharply last year, dented by global financial turbulence, yet showed modest signs of recovery in the final quarter, official data showed Thursday.
Gross domestic product — the total value of all goods & services produced in the economy — expanded by 2.2 percent in 2015, down from 2.9 percent in 2014, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.
GDP meanwhile grew 0.5 percent in the October-December period compared with the previous three months.
p>That met market expectations & marked a modest acceleration from 0.4 percent in the third quarter.
âThese figures show Britain continues to grow steadily," said finance minister George Osborne.
"Despite turbulence in the global economy, Britain is pushing ahead.
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne warned earlier this month that Britain' …
"With the risks we see elsewhere in the world, there may be bumpy times ahead — so here in the UK we must stick to the plan that's cutting the deficit, attracting business investment & creating jobs."
Osborne had warned earlier this month that Britain's economy faced a "dangerous cocktail of new threats" such as falling commodity prices, recessions in Brazil & Russia & rising tensions in the Middle East.
Economists meanwhile warn that this year's outlook is clouded by an expected referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union.
"The uncertainty surrounding the vote may prompt a slowdown in the pace of hiring & investment, & as such we may see some weaker growth figures around the time of the referendum," said ING economist James Smith.
Prime Minister David Cameron called the referendum after winning last year's general election.
Opinion polls currently point to a slender lead for those who want out of the EU.
Politics & GovernmentBudget, Tax & EconomyGeorge OsborneOffice for National StatisticsGross domestic product