FIRST-quarter UK growth was revised up marginally yesterday in official data but year-on-year expansion was unrevised at the weakest rate since 2012.

The Office for National Statistics, publishing its latest quarterly national accounts data, also revised down UK gross domestic product growth in 2017 from 1.8 per cent to 1.7%. And the ONS reduced the UK expansion rate for 2016 from 1.9% to 1.8%.

First-quarter growth was revised up from 0.1% to 0.2% in yesterday’s figures. This is half of the relatively weak rate of 0.4% recorded for each of the third and fourth quarters of last year, although it matched the poor pace of expansion in the three months to June 2017.

GDP in the first quarter was up just 1.2% on the same period of last year. This was the weakest year-on-year increase in any quarter since the three months to June 2012.

UK consumer spending grew only 0.2% in the first quarter, the latest figures show, amid pressure on household finances. And the household savings ratio dropped from an already-low 4.5% in the fourth quarter of last year to just 4.1% in the opening three months of 2018.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club think-tank, projected that the UK economy is on course in 2018 to record its worst performance in any calendar year since 2009, with weak growth.

He said: “We expect GDP growth to be limited to 1.3% in 2018, which would be the weakest performance since 2009.”

Mr Archer added: “While first-quarter growth was clearly dragged down by the severe weather seen at the end of February and [during the] first half of March, the extent of the slowdown raised concerns of an underlying loss of momentum in the economy.”

He described yesterday’s downward revisions of UK growth rates for 2016 and last year as disappointing.