ONS releases separate figures showing growth rate and migration slowing

25 May 17

The growth rate of the UK economy was slower than expected in the first three months of the year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Today’s ONS figures show the economy grew by 0.2% down from the 0.3% estimate – this was put down to downward revisions for growth in the UK's dominant services sector.

In the last quarter of 2016, the UK economy had expanded by 0.7%.

Separate figures out today from the ONS also show a drop in net migration figures, which is believed to be 248,000 in 2016 - a fall of 84,000 from 2015.

Immigration stood at 588,000, with emigration of 339,000. The difference between the two gives the total for net migration, according to the figures for 2016.

The ONS said the decrease was “statistically significant” and driven mostly by the departure of EU citizens - of the 339,000 who left the UK 117,000 were from the EU, up 31,000 from 2015.

The Resolution Foundation has called on UK economic sectors like agriculture and food manufacturing to adjust to the shift in the labour market to become less dependent on a migrant workforce.

Stephen Clarke, economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Rising emigration among EU nationals, particularly from Eastern Europe, means that many firms would be wise to rethink their investment, recruitment and training policies.

“What businesses also need during this election campaign is far more clarity from political parties about what their post-Brexit migration policy will be.

“The choices we make about post-Brexit Britain’s approach to migration will mean a fundamental shift in the way many run their business – the time to start preparing for that is now.”

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