UK economic growth remains sluggish

The UK economy grew by 0.2% in the three months to January, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

That matched the previous three-month growth figures. For January the economy expanded by 0.5%.

The ONS said strength in IT, health services and wholesale trading offset falls in the manufacturing of metals and cars, and construction output.

The increase in wholesale could indicate stockpiling ahead of Brexit.

However, the ONS was unable to comment on whether the rise was linked to UK manufacturers stockpiling.

The services sector, which accounts for about 80% of the private sector economy, grew by 0.3% in January after a 0.2% fall in December.

Construction, which accounts for about 6% of the economy, reversed its fall in December to grow by 2.8% in January.