Growth in the UK's economy accelerated in the build up to June's Brexit referendum

 
Mark Sands
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UK performance was strongest in services and production, while construction and agriculture suffered. (Source: Getty)

Growth of the UK economy accelerated in the three months to June, according to the latest figures.

The Office for National Statistics revealed today that economic growth for Q2 was 0.6 per cent, up from 0.4 per cent on the previous quarter.

Year-on-year the economy expanded 2.2 per cent.

The figures mean that growth for the three months heading into the referendum was relatively robust, and in line with recent historical performance.

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Spending by households saw the strongest increase since 2014, rising by 0.9 in the three months to June compared with the first quarter.

Business investment also increased by 0.5 per cent on the previous quarter, reversing a decrease in the first three months of the year and confounding expectations of a freeze in corporate spending in the run up to the referendum.

However, in year-on-year terms, business investment remained 0.8 per cent down, meaning the UK has recorded the first consecutive fall in business investment in annual terms over two quarters since late 2009 and early 2010.


Source: Office for National Statistics

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ONS Chief Economist Joe Grice said: “Today’s figures reinforce the picture that the economy grew strongly in April, and then remained relatively flat in May and June.

“Business Investment grew in the second quarter, partly thanks to companies spending on transport equipment such as cars and planes. However, levels of investment remained lower than at the same period last year.

“Our survey returns, which include the period leading up to and immediately following the referendum, show no sign so far of uncertainty having significantly affected investment or GDP.”

The ONS said that services increased by 0.5 per cent, while and production increased by 2.1 per cent.

In contrast, construction decreased by 0.4 per cent and agriculture decreased by 1.0 per cent.

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