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Net trade added 2.04 percentage points to GDP in the first quarter, the first positive contribution since the second quarter of 2020, as exports declined by 7.5% and imports slumped by 13.9%. Net trade provided the single most important upward influence on first quarter growth, data released by the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday.
Government spending rose by 2.6%, a much smaller increase than in the previous two quarters, adding 0.61 percentage points to output. Business investment slumped by 11.9%, reversing two quarters of growth, falling by 18.1% over the same period of 2020. Household spending declined by 3.9%, twice as much as expected, suggesting that consumers are reluctant — or unable — to rundown the historically-high rate of savings achieved during the second half of last year.