The chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce has said he has "doubts about the accuracy" of today's GDP figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which suggest the economy is shrinking faster than expected. David Kern said:
Fundamental doubts about the accuracy of the ONS's estimates persist. Virtually every business survey has indicated positive growth in the economy in the first quarter.
Furthermore, the ONS's own labour market figures have shown an increase in employment and a 0.9% increase in the actual number of hours worked, which makes a quarterly fall in GDP difficult to comprehend. It is possible that the GDP estimate will be revised upwards later in the year.