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The Bank of England has been proven wrong again, as the British economy performed better than the bank’s forecasts in the first three months of the year.

Quarterly real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.1 percent from January and March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That matched consensus expectations among economists for growth of 0.1pc, but beat Bank of England forecasts of 0pc in the first quarter.

But on a monthly basis, GDP fell by 0.3pc in March. This is a much larger drop than the consensus forecast of 0pc growth.

Quarter-on-quarter growth rate was ahead in January, when GDP rose 0.5pc. In February, growth was steady.

March data reveals the impact of successive public sector strikes.

ONS Director of Economic Statistics Darren Morgan said: „Overall growth this quarter was driven by IT and construction, partially offset by declines in health, education and public administration, sectors hit by strikes.”

Without the impact of the strikes, quarterly GDP growth would have been 0.2% in the first three months of the year, the bank said on Thursday.

Construction output rose 0.7pc in the first three months of the year, the sixth consecutive quarter of positive growth.

Growth from January to March was driven by repairs and maintenance, which increased by 4.9%.

It upgraded its outlook for growth in the UK economy on Thursday by a record amount as the Bank raised interest rates to the highest level since 2008.

The monetary policy committee, which sets the rate, forecast the economy would be 2.25% bigger over three years than it predicted in February – the biggest growth upgrade in its history.

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The bank forecast expansion of 0.2% in the first and second quarters, six months after forecasting that the economy would not grow in 2023.

It revised its full-year forecast for 2023 to 0.25pc growth, compared with a forecast of a 0.3pc contraction in February.

Data showing growth The UK economy avoided recession in the first quarter of 2023 until the end of 2022.

The economy was flat in the final three months of last year, contracting 0.3 percent between July and September.

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