The U.K. economy grew less than expected in the first quarter, with output in the production, construction and agriculture sectors declining and weighing on growth, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday. Gross domestic product for the first three months of the year rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter, missing the consensus estimate of a 0.6% rise. It was also a slowdown from the 0.6% economic expansion reported in the fourth quarter of 2014. Year-over-year, GDP climbed 2.4%, below forecasts of a 2.7% rise. The disappointing reading comes just nine days ahead of the U.K. general election, with the Conservative government's economic record closely watched. The pound dropped to $1.5190 from $1.5225 ahead of the release. The FTSE 100 index traded 0.9% lower at 7,044.11.
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