UK economy beats expectations with 0.4% growth in third quarter

GDP grew faster than expected in the third quarter. Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

GDP grew faster than expected in the third quarter. Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The UK economy grew by 0.4% in the third quarter of 2017, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics' (ONS) estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) shows that growth is up from 0.3% in the first two quarters of 2017.

The marginally improved growth from July to September was driven by an expansion in production and services output, but construction continued to act as a drag, the ONS said.

The largest contributor to growth in services was the business services and finance sector, which grew by 0.6%, while the positive contribution from production (up 1% in the quarter) was attributed to strength in the car manufacturing output in July, which increased by 3.8%.

Head of national accounts at the ONS, Darren Morgan, said: 'Growth in the third quarter of 2017 continued at a similar rate as seen in the first half of the year.

'Services, led by increases in IT, motor trades and retail, continued to drive GDP growth. Manufacturing also boosted the economy with an improved performance after a weak second quarter.

'However, construction output fell for the second consecutive quarter, although it remains above its pre-downturn peak.'