Source: Relocate Magazine
Official figures from the Office for National Statistics have confirmed that the UK’s economy grew by 0.5 per cent in the quarter to September.
As expected, the figure was down from the 0.7 per cent recorded in the second quarter and resulted in the forecast growth in gross domestic product of 2.3 per cent in the year to September. It was the 11th consecutive quarter that growth in the UK had been recorded.
Lee Hopley, chief economist at the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, commented, “No surprises in the second estimate as the economy was ticking over, including a chunky contribution from business investment, which has had an unbroken run of expansion for a year.
“Pulling sharply in the opposite direction is the contribution from net trade, with modest export growth being swamped by a massive bounce in imports.”
Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First, added, “The latest growth figures from the UK economy have told us a very familiar story; private consumption and government spending are making up for a very poor trade outlook.
“UK consumers have been ably helped this year by low interest rates, heightened disposable income courtesy of stagnant inflation and rising wages, and a strong pound.”
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said that despite the slight dip in growth in the third quarter, he expected the economy to gather pace in the final quarter of the year.
“Despite softer expansion in the third quarter, we remain relatively upbeat over UK growth prospects,” he said. “We expect gross domestic product growth to come in at 0.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter, resulting in overall gross domestic product growth of 2.4 per cent in 2015.”
The latest figures, coming at a time when inflation remains close to zero, are expected to reinforce the Bank of England’s apparent desire to postpone any increase in record low interest rates until late next year or even 2017.
According to the ONS, production output increased by 0.2 per cent in the third quarter compared to the previous three months. Construction output fell by 2.2 per cent while the UK’s powerhouse services sector increased growth by 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter.