The second estimate of first quarter GDP for the United Kingdom is due to be released tomorrow, although little or no change is expected in the 0.5 per cent growth given at the first estimate.
While British Prime Minister David Cameron trumpeted the growth when it was first announced, Opposition leader Ed Miliband pointed out that it followed growth of minus 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, meaning that there was effectively no economic growth for the last six months.
The 0.5 per cent contraction at the end of last year was attributed mainly to the cold weather.
Howard Archer, Chief Economist at HIS Global Insight, said that while data on construction output released since the first GDP estimate is less bad than previously thought, the rise in industrial production was also not as strong as believed, effectively cancelling each other out.
In addition consumer spending is likely to show "pretty muted growth" thanks to rising inflation, weak wage growth and high unemployment.
Mr Archer added, "There seems no reason at this stage to expect major revisions to the preliminary GDP growth estimate for the first quarter.
"The muted first quarter rebound in GDP growth reinforces our suspicion that growth will be limited going forward as the fiscal squeeze increasingly kicks in, some temporary growth drivers wane (notably restocking) and consumers limit their spending in the face of serious headwinds, most notably the major squeeze on their purchasing power.
"Specifically, we project GDP growth to be limited to around 0.4% quarter-on-quarter through the second-fourth quarters of 2011. This is seen resulting in overall GDP growth of 1.4% in 2011."