The first set of early-warning data for the U.K. economy point to some weakness in corporate sales in the first quarter.
The findings are contained in what the Office for National Statistics is calling “faster indicators.” Drawing on sources such as value-added tax returns and road-traffic data, the figures are designed to provide policy makers more timely information.
Most indicators were around their average values, the ONS said. There was a slight decline in the all-industry turnover index to a below-average negative 0.02, meaning firms reporting that sales fell from the fourth quarter outnumbered those reporting an increase. Average traffic counts for larger vehicles were broadly stable.
Figures last week suggest the economy picked up a little momentum in the first quarter, with GDP unexpectedly expanding in February for a second straight month.
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