UK economy boosted as growth in third quarter is revised up

The UK economy was enjoying some Christmas cheer after growth was revised up in the third quarter.

GDP expanded by 0.6% in the third quarter, up from a previous estimate of 0.5%. Picture: John Devlin

The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter, up from a previous estimate of 0.5 per cent, showing further resilience to uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote.

The move was driven by a hefty revision to output from the business services and finance industries, which was revised up from 0.3 per cent to 0.8 per cent for the third quarter.

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Separate figures for Britain’s powerhouse services sector, which accounts for around 79 per cent of the UK economy, saw output grow by 0.3 per cent between September and October.

Darren Morgan, ONS head of GDP, said: “Robust consumer demand continued to help the UK economy grow steadily in the third quarter of 2016.

“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.”

Amid the slew of economic data from the ONS, business investment was revised down to 0.4 per cent from 0.9 per cent for the third quarter, while household spending rose by 0.7 per cent - or £2.1 billion - between July and September.

Britain’s current account deficit - measuring the amount of money flowing in and out of the economy - grew to £25.5 billion in the third quarter, up from a revised deficit of £22.1 billion for the quarter before.