UK GDP growth confirmed at 0.5 per cent in the third quarter
Official data out today has confirmed that the UK economy slowed slightly in the third quarter of this year, nevertheless economists remained optimistic about the outlook for future growth.
Gross domestic product grew 0.5 per cent from July to September, from 0.7 per cent in the second quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics. This was in line with economists' expectations.
It was weighed down by net trade, which knocked off 1.5 percentage points off of the overall figure, also marking its weakest contribution on record.
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Net trade knocked 1.5 percentage points, making its weakest contribution on record.
"The latest official data showed the UK economy continued to grow at a reasonably strong pace in the autumn, with increasingly robust domestic demand from businesses and consumers being offset by weak trade as key export markets remained in the doldrums and the strong pound hit competitiveness," Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said.
Production output growth was revised down by 0.1 percentage points to 0.2 per cent. Within this, construction output shrank 2.2 per cent, while manufacturing output fell 0.4 per cent.
The services sector continued to drive growth, remaining unchanged at 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter, marking the 11th consecutive quarter of expansion.
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"Despite the softer expansion in the third quarter, we remain relatively upbeat over UK growth prospects," Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS, said.
"We expect the fundamentals to continue to be largely positive for consumer spending, enabling it to be a key growth driver."