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undergroundnewsroom.com November 21, 2017


UK GDP growth higher than expected at 0.4%

27 October 2017, 12:43 | Gordon Grant

The Bank of England in London | Leon Neal Getty Images

The Bank of England in London | Leon Neal  Getty Images

Services remained the largest contributor to overall growth, and the sector's output increased 0.4% in the quarter - the same rate as in Q2 - driven by IT services, motor trades and retail.

"Growth in the third quarter of 2017 continued at a similar rate as seen in the first half of the year".

Year-on-year growth is at 1.5%, according to the ONS.

'While GDP growth in Q3 was a slight uptick on the previous quarter, the UK's combined economic growth performance over the first nine months of 2017 was still the weakest since late 2012, and indicates that the United Kingdom economy remains locked onto a low growth trajectory.

"However, the importance of "programming" to our economy is not the whole story".

GDP rose 0.4 percent, a ratio higher than the 0.3 percent seen in the first two quarters of the year.

The British pound rose shortly after today's growth report, going up 0.25 percent against the USA dollar to $1.317.

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The headline growth figure fuelled expectations the Bank will move to make borrowing less attractive and tackle rising inflation next month by raising interest rates from their post-Brexit vote low of 0.25%.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), led by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney (pictured), will meet next on 2 November. Following recent hawkish comments from the MPC, markets were already regarding a return to 0.5% as a near-certainty. "I expect the Bank to proceed with caution from here".

John Hawksworth, chief economist at business services group PwC, said: "These numbers do not change the big picture for the United Kingdom, which is of an economy that has slowed due to higher inflation linked to the weak pound and Brexit-related uncertainty dragging on business investment".

However, although the GDP data was better than expected it is not strong and there are pockets of weakness that could come under even more pressure if the BoE does hike interest rates.

With the year-on-year GDP figure coming in at 1.5%, all indications suggest the Bank of England is likely to increase base rates by 25bps at its November meeting.

For those seeking a personal loan, the average interest rate on borrowing £5,000 has dropped from 9.3 per cent at the time of the European Union referendum to 8 per cent.



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