Friday, 24 November, 2017

UK GDP: Britain's economy grew by 0.4% in the last quarter

Canary Wharf Ice Rink Source Getty
Heather Davidson | 27 October, 2017, 00:39

This was a rise of 1.5 percent year-on-year, according to the Office for National Statistics, with services and manufacturing being the main drivers of growth, as well as the auto sector.

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 auto manufacturing output in July, which increased by 3.8%. It is possible that if inflation proves stubborn, unemployment continues to remain low, wages start to increase more rapidly and growth strengthens, then rates may rise a little quicker than markets now expect.

"Both the services sector and the manufacturing sector experienced a rise in output, but the construction sector contracted for the second quarter in succession".

This breaking news story is being updated as more information emerges - please refresh the page for the most recent version.

Any potential rate hike by the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee when it meets on 2 November is likely to be just 0.25 per cent, but would nonetheless have an impact on mortgage payments and savings.

However, UK construction output shrank for the second quarter in a row, by -0.7%, although the industry still remains "well above its pre-downturn peak".

"Yet if rates do rise as expected, the move will be largely symbolic - though it will be the first rise in over 10 years".

The pound clawed back a cent against the dollar, trading above $1.32, when the ONS figures were announced as the prospect of a rate rise seemed more assured.

Responding to the GDP announcement, the Chancellor said: "We have a successful and resilient economy which is supporting a record number of people in employment".

The first estimate of UK GDP for the July to September period, due at 9.30am BST, will show how quickly, or slowly, the economy expanded in the last quarter.

The UK fell to the bottom of the G7 in previous quarters, growing at 0.2 per cent in Q1 and then 0.3 per cent in Q2. "The key uncertainty for the central bank is whether it will increase base rates any further in 2018".

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