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.

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'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.'

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