Change in UK gross domestic product (GDP) is the main indicator of economic growth and is estimated to have increased by 0.5% in Q4 2014 compared with growth of 0.7% in Q3 2014. GDP in 2014 as a whole was up 2.6% from 1.7% in 2013.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that output increased in two of the four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q4 2014. In order of their contribution, output increased by 0.8% in services and 1.3% in agriculture. In contrast, output decreased by 1.8% in construction and 0.1% in production.
GDP was 2.7% higher in Q4 2014 compared with the same quarter a year ago. GDP in 2014 as a whole was up 2.6% on 2013.
In Q4 2014 GDP was estimated to have been 3.4% higher than the pre-economic downturn peak of Q1 2008. From the peak in Q1 2008 to the trough in Q2 2009, the economy shrank by 6.0%.
The preliminary estimate of GDP is produced using the output approach to measuring GDP. At this stage, data content is less than half of the total required for the final output estimate. The estimate is subject to revision as more data become available, but these revisions are typically small between the preliminary and third estimates of GDP.
Joe Grice, ONS chief economist, said it was "too early to say" if this slowdown would persist.
"The main disappointment with growth in the fourth quarter was that it looks unbalanced on the output side of the economy at least," said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight.
In effect growth is now being mainly driven by retail and consumer spending.
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