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Economic Flash News


UK construction data revised higher, policy moves may hold sector back

British construction output grew faster than previously thought in the first quarter, new figures showed on Friday, but could slow in the next three months, particularly after the government took steps to cool the housing market. Finance minister George Osborne said on Thursday that he would give the Bank of England stronger powers to curb mortgage lending, while BoE Governor Mark Carney said interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets expect. The comments sent sterling and short-dated British government bond yields soaring and caused shares to plunge, with housebuilders particularly hard hit. Economists say Osborne's announcement means the Bank may adopt a more direct approach when trying to curb mortgage lending.