BREXIT Stockpiling boosts first quarter growth to 0.5%

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The UK economy accelerated in the first quarter of the year to grow by 0.5%, according to preliminary official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) credited limited evidence of stockpiling by businesses and, particularly, a rush to complete orders ahead of the Brexit that never came on 29 March.

The rate of growth was up from 0.2% in the final three months of 2018.

Economists have warned that the boost is a temporary factor because early orders only tend to depress them later.

The ONS said stockpiling contributed 0.7% percentage points to growth with net trade taking a record 2.2% off. That was because of a surge in imports.

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