Britain's economy grew by 0.5% in the first quarter, boosted by companies stockpiling ahead of Brexit, official data showed today.
Manufacturers delivered orders early as companies cleared their order books ready for the original Brexit withdrawal date of 29 March.
The euro zone's economy expanded by 0.4 per cent in the three months to March, rebounding from a patch of sluggish growth in the second half of 2018 caused by global trade tensions and regulatory problems for the auto industry.
Preliminary figures from The Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed the United Kingdom economy was up in January to March this year, compared to the last three months of 2018.More news: Gracia fully focused on West Ham challenge
The UK's trade deficit doubled in 1Q19, from £8.9 bln to £18.3 bln, which is a negative development, given the gradual reduction of the deficit over the past few quarters.
Garry Young, an economist at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), commented: "It is unlikely that the pace of growth will pick up significantly as long as Brexit-related uncertainty is hampering forward planning in business and government". However, consumer demand remained solid amid low unemployment, rising wages, and stable consumer confidence.
For its part, the Bank of England (BOE) has recently raised its growth forecast for this year from 1.2 percent to 1.5 percent.
"It's not surprising to see households and businesses protecting themselves against a potentially disastrous Tory no-deal Brexit", Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell said.More news: FAKE KIDNAP CLAIM: Baby thrown into ravine, mom charged with attempted murder
'Jobs are still being created and wage growth remains strong. Output expanded by a hefty 2.2% during the quarter, a sign that both British and European businesses were doing what they could to prepare for the possibility that Britain might crash out of the EU without a deal leading to new future trading relations.
Chris Towner, director at JCRA, said the latest ONS figures demonstrated that the "economy continues to prove its resilience despite Brexit", noting the improvement in business investment, which also grew by 0.5%.
Growth in the services sector slowed to 0.3 per cent in the latest quarter, but there was a noticeable pickup in growth in the production sector, driven by growth of 2.2 per cent in manufacturing output.More news: Raising Kratos, a Story of Sacrifice is now available on YouTube