UK econ­omy grows quicker than ex­pected

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

LON­DON:

Bri­tain’s econ­omy grew faster than ex­pected in the third quar­ter, re­vised of­fi­cial data showed yesterday, in­di­cat­ing no im­pact yet from the na­tion’s loom­ing exit from the Euro­pean Union. Gross do­mes­tic prod­uct ex­panded by 0.6 per­cent in the three months to the end of Septem­ber, up from the previous es­ti­mate of 0.5 per­cent, the Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics (ONS) said in a state­ment. Ac­tiv­ity was greater than ex­pected due to up­ward re­vi­sions on the out­put of the busi­ness ser­vices and fi­nance in­dus­tries, it added.

“Ro­bust con­sumer de­mand con­tin­ued to help the UK econ­omy grow steadily in the third quar­ter of 2016,” noted Dar­ren Mor­gan, head of GDP at the ONS. “Growth was slightly stronger than first thought, though, due to greater out­put in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor. New fig­ures on ser­vices also sug­gest that growth in that pre­dom­i­nant sec­tor of the econ­omy con­tin­ued into Oc­to­ber, helped in large part by an­other strong show­ing from the re­tail­ers.”

The ONS mean­while re­vised down its growth es­ti­mates for the first and sec­ond quar­ters by 0.1 per­cent­age points, to 0.3 per­cent and 0.6 per­cent re­spec­tively. “The fun­da­men­tals of the UK econ­omy are strong, but there re­main chal­lenges ahead,” a Trea­sury spokesman said. Econ­o­mists point to an econ­omy in­tact since the June 23 ref­er­en­dum in fa­vor of Bri­tain leav­ing the EU - but some also warn of loom­ing trou­ble. “The lat­est set of UK na­tional ac­counts leave the econ­omy look­ing even stronger af­ter the ref­er­en­dum than pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated,” said econ­o­mist Ruth Gre­gory at re­search con­sul­tancy Cap­i­tal Eco­nomics. —AFP

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