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Soccer and private health help to increase GDP by 0.3% in January in a boost for the Chancellor

Soccer and private healthcare help lift GDP 0.3% in January to boost Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ahead of next week’s budget, but the figures mask the drop in manufacturing output and construction work

UK GDP rose 0.3 percent in January in a boost for the chancellor ahead of next week’s budget.

The return of the Premier League and an increase in the use of private healthcare amid problems in the NHS contributed to the rise alongside broader growth in the service sector, the Office for National Statistics said.

But long-term growth remains flat, and the numbers masked a drop in manufacturing and construction jobs, the ONS revealed.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “In the face of severe global challenges, the UK economy has proven more resilient than many expected, but there is a long way to go.

“Next week, I will set out the next stage of our plan to cut inflation in half, reduce debt and grow the economy, so we can improve everyone’s standard of living.”

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