June 11, 2018 / 11:30 AM / a year ago

UK economic growth edges up slightly in three months to May - NIESR

FILE PHOTO: A shopper pauses for a moment on Oxford Street on the first day of the post-Christmas sales in London, December 27, 2002. REUTERS/Peter Macdiarmid

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s economy probably expanded at a quarterly rate of 0.2 percent in May, picking up only slightly from a weak start to 2018, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said on Monday.

“Economic growth has slowed materially since the start of this year and it continues to remain weak,” NIESR’s head of UK forecasting, Amit Kara, said.

Britain’s economy grew only 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018, according to official data.

“Looking ahead, we expect the economy to strengthen from here mainly because monetary policy in the UK and elsewhere continues to remain accommodative. The risks to that outlook are, however, weighed to the downside.”

These risks included Brexit, an escalation of tensions in international trade and the potential for renewed trouble in the euro zone because of political developments in Italy, NIESR said.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken

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