The economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the first three months of this year due to the weather, official statistics confirmed this morning. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said GDP grew by 0.2% in the first quarter, half the 0.4% rate forecast by analysts, who had expected a repeat of the pace of growth seen in the last three months of 2009. The last quarter of 2009 saw GDP growth of 0.4% - revised up from an initial estimate of 0.1%. The ONS said the bad weather seen at the beginning of the year might have had an impact on output - particularly in the retail and industrial sectors.