UK plc grew by 0.6% in the third quarter, helped by World Cup fever

UK plc grew by 0.6 percent in the third quarter as the country was gripped by World Cup fever.

The economy expanded almost the fastest for nearly two years, driven by strong retail sales during the football tournament and recovery in construction.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said that the figures were evidence of the underlying force & # 39; from Great Britain.

But the latest official figures also suggest that the boost has declined, with growth both in August and September flat.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the figure represents the fastest quarterly growth since the last quarter of 2016

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the figure represents the fastest quarterly growth since the last quarter of 2016

Bureau of National Statistics (US) spokesman Rob Kent-Smith said: "The economy saw a strong summer, although economic growth remained moderate over the longer term.

& # 39; There are some signs of weakness in September with slower retail sales and a decline in the purchase of domestic cars.

Car export manufacturing, however, grew over the quarter, increasing factory production. & # 39;

Growth in construction and industrial production increased in the third quarter after a weak start to the year, when construction projects were delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Production in the construction sector was 2.1 percent higher in the period, the fastest increase since the first quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, the output of the services sectors, including the retail sector, dropped to 0.4 percent compared to 0.6 percent in the second quarter.

The strength in the retail sector that was shown earlier in the summer continued at the start of the third quarter when consumers picked up food and drinks between the warm weather and the world championship.

Growth in retail sales slowed to 1.1 percent in the third quarter, after a 2 percent increase in the previous period.

Auto insurance services declined 1.9 percent, the weakest quarterly growth since the last quarter of 2012.

But car production increased, which helped improve the trade balance of the UK.

The total deficit on the trade balance reduced £ 3.2 billion to £ 2.9 billion. Cars had the greatest impact on the balance of goods import and export by a £ 1 billion increase in non-EU exports and a 1.7 billion decrease in EU imports.

Net trade delivered the largest positive contribution to GDP growth in the third quarter.

Growth figures for the last quarter meet the expectations of economists and the most recent forecasts from the Bank of England.

The Bank, which held interest rates stable last week, predicted GDP growth of 0.6 percent for the third quarter.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, pictured on a visit to a brewery in Chiswick today, said the figures were evidence of the underlying force & # 39; from Great Britain

Chancellor Philip Hammond, pictured on a visit to a brewery in Chiswick today, said the figures were evidence of the underlying force & # 39; from Great Britain

Chancellor Philip Hammond, pictured on a visit to a brewery in Chiswick today, said the figures were evidence of the underlying force & # 39; from Great Britain

It then expects growth to fall to 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter before stabilizing at 0.4 percent thereafter. European Commission forecasts released on Thursday show that the United Kingdom is on its way to the downside of the EU growth competition in 2019, with the result that every other Member State, with the exception of Italy, is underperforming, stuck for the last place.

The UK is expected to grow by 1.2 percent next year, compared to the fastest growing country, Malta, which is expected to grow by 4.9 percent.

This year, GDP growth is estimated at 1.3 percent, making the UK the second slowest growing EU member.

During a visit to a brewery in Chiswick today, Mr. Hammond said: "The current positive growth of 0.6 percent is evidence of the underlying strength in our economy.

We are building an economy that works for everyone, with 3.3 million more people at work, lower unemployment in every part of the country and wages that are rising at their fastest pace in almost a decade.

Now our focus is on locking this progress and making sure that people's wages can continue to rise. & # 39;

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