The U.K. economy slowed in the first quarter of 2016, hit by a continued decline in the industrial sector, according to official data released Wednesday.
Britain's Gross Domestic Product grew 0.4 percent in the first quarter, down from 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2015, according to figures published by the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics.
The slowdown was largely attributed to falls in construction output, which dropped 0.9 percent in the quarter, while production fell by 0.4 percent, and agricultural output fell 0.1 percent.
Services, the largest sector of the U.K. economy, underpinned growth during the quarter, expanding by 0.6 percent. Despite the relatively strong performances of the sector, growth in services slowed from 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter.
The figures mean that the U.K. economy has experienced 13 consecutive quarters of growth.
The slowdown comes after the Bank of England warned that uncertainty over the country's upcoming referendum on its membership of the European Union could hurt economic growth.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) joined the chorus of institutions warning about the economic consequences of a possible Brexit on Wednesday. The Paris-based body warned that a Brexit would cost each British household £2,200 ($3,212) over a decade, and continue to impose “a persistent and rising shock” on the U.K. in the following years, the Guardian reported.
Some experts, however, argued that uncertainty over a possible Brexit was only partly responsible for the slowdown.
"Concerns about Brexit likely played a role in the first quarter slowdown and they probably will take a greater toll on GDP growth in the second quarter. But the downward trend in GDP growth since 2014 suggests that the EU referendum cannot be blamed for all of the economy's ills," Pantheon Macroeconomics chief U.K. economist Saumuel Tombs told the BBC.