UK Q4 GDP Growth Revised Down

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The claimant count fell by a seasonally adjusted 7,200 in January, compared to expectations for a gain of 2,300 people, following an increase of 6,200 a month earlier.

ONS data shows average wages increased more than expected over the same period, climbing by 2.5%.

Markets are predicting that the next rate rise beyond 0.5% could come as soon as May and are pencilling in at least three hikes within three years.

Report spokesperson, Rhian Murphy, said that the flat growth in the retail market was not a big surprise, with price increases across a number of products making people think about how they are spending their money.

Elsewhere, the statistics agency found an uptick in wages, which could conversely harden the resolve of some rate-setters at the Bank of England to raise interest rates again, possibly as soon as May.

The Pound saw little respite from earlier losses Thursday when the Office for National Statistics revised its estimate of fourth quarter GDP growth lower, while separate data showed business investment stalling to a halt in the final months of the year.

Unemployment rates are calculated by people who are registered looking for work as a proportion of the working age population. It's not clear any one of those in isolation is a start of a trend.

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"Looking at the underlying numbers, we can see that European Union net migration has fallen, as fewer European Union citizens are arriving, especially those coming to look for work in the United Kingdom, and the number leaving has risen".

"The downward revision to Q4 GDP puts the United Kingdom back at the bottom of the G7 growth leader board for 2017".

As companies and the government invested in better technology and skills, each worker could produce more goods or services per hour, bringing in more revenue to their employers - and as a result, each worker could be paid more per hour.

In the past decade, that engine of improved prosperity broke down.

It helped to offset a dismal update from the construction industry, with output falling by 0.7 per cent across the fourth quarter.

This is a 0.1% downward revision from the ONS's preliminary estimate of GDP growth, in part reflecting a small downward revision to the estimated output of the production industries. Versus the euro, the pound was down 0.2 per cent at 1.29. Maybe that old motor has some life in it yet.