UK output falls worse than feared

As Wise Money blogged yesterday the official figures from the Office for National statistics indicated that the UK economy fell more quickly towards the end of last year than initially thought. UK output falls worse than fearedGDP fell by 0.3% in Q4 last year as opposed to the 0.2% reported. This fall shows a change from the 0.6% in the previous quarter and takes the overall growth figure to 0.7% down from 0.8% estimation.

One of the main drivers behind this fall is the 0.7% drop in manufacturing followed by 0.2% construction and services at 0.1%.

So far today Nationwide have revealed that house prices were pushed lower than a year ago for the first time in six months following a 1% fall in March.

Nationwide are attributing the slow down to changed in the stamp duty rules causing a “headwind” in an already difficult environment.

Since the budget first time buyers must now pay 1% on properties worth more than £125,000 following a two year holiday and there’s a new super stamp duty for properties sold over £2 million where a 7% payment is now due.

The figures were based on Nationwide mortgage data and indicated falls in all but three regions which were London, North England and Scotland.

The combination of these stories has put Sterling under pressure so far this morning with cable dropping off from the mid 1.59s yesterday to 1.5891 at present but up slightly against the Euro at 1.1971.

With the relative calm in the markets investors are becoming increasingly comfortable with the lack of movement in currencies.

This in line with the fall in risk aversion as market concerns over US growth and Eurozone debt problems retreat.

In the short term there is little catalyst to shake markets out of their trance and we could see euro/US Dollar continue to drift higher.

Certainly, firmer risk appetite, is a positive driver for the euro while the pull back in US bond yields has restricted the Greenback.

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