LONDON, April 7 Britain's economy probably
expanded 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2017, slowing from
growth of 0.7 percent in the final three months of last year,
the National Institute of Economic Social Research said on
"A key component of this moderation has been relatively weak
retail sales in the first two months of this year," said James
Warren, research fellow at NIESR.
"Consumption is expected to moderate further this year as
increasing inflation erodes households' purchasing power."
Warren added that NIESR expects the Bank of England to "look
through" a temporary spike in inflation by keeping monetary
Official data on Friday showed British industrial output
fell unexpectedly in February and manufacturers struggled,
adding to signs economic growth may have slowed as Britain
prepares to leave the EU.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Stephen Addison)