The latest news that the UK economy grew at 0.4 per cent from July to September has led to a mixed reception from economists. Whilst the growth is up from 0.3 per cent in the previous quarter and slightly higher than predicted, the economy is still growing at a slower pace than it was last year. According to the Office of National Statistics, year-on-year growth is at 1.5 per cent. If this trend continues to the end of 2018, it would be the slowest annual expansion of the economy for 5 years.
The 2 sectors boosting the figure are Services (which makes up around 80% of the UK economy) and Manufacturing. However, the construction sector fell into recession after shrinking for the second quarter in succession. The current deadlock in the Brexit talks also continues to make businesses cautious about the future and the economy is running slower than it was prior to the EU referendum last year. In addition, the better than expected growth increases the prospect of interest rates rises for the first time since 2007.
Whilst this growth is an unexpected positive, there is no doubt that the next set of figures will be eagerly anticipated for a number of reasons!