The economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the first three months of 2018, snapping a run of two years of positive growth, according to data released by the Cabinet Office on Wednesday.

Business investment contracted by 0.1 percent on a quarter-to-quarter basis, and household spending — the largest driver of economic growth — remained flat, demonstrating the weak overall appetite for consumers to open up their wallets in a still-uncertain economy. When annualized, GDP was 0.6 percent lower than the previous quarter.

However, the latest preliminary numbers, often prone to statistical revision, may actually belie a relatively healthy economy on pace for modest growth in 2018, economists said.