Sterling and Gilt yields fall on weaker than expected UK GDP

UK GDP was unexpectedly weak in the first quarter of 2015 despite a fall in the price of oil.  Economic growth in Q1 was 0.3% compared to an expected figure of +0.5%. Renewed strength in housebuilding has faded and retail sales fell further than economic forecasts. The annualised figure now stands at +2.4%.  This figure is the first preliminary estimate and subject to revision which may mean it rises back up toward initial estimates of +2.6%.  Sterling quickly lost 50 cents against the US dollar, the exchange rate falling to $1.518.  This was accompanied by a quick dash into Gilts where the 10 year yield fell from 1.70% to 1.67% as the lower growth figure makes it more likely that interest rates will stay lower for longer.