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UK economy sees third quarter slowdown to 0.5 per cent growth

UK economy sees third quarter slowdown to 0.5 per cent growth

Growth for the UK economy slowed in the third quarter of the year with an increase of only 0.5%.

Manufacturing and construction sectors were partly to blame for the drop, which saw gross domestic product (GDP) growing at a slower rate than the 0.7% that had been achieved in the second quarter between July and September.

Construction, manufacturing and service industries

The latest data from The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the 0.6% growth many analysts had predicted have failed to materialise.

A drop of 2.2% in construction output was the biggest for three years and played a significant part in the overall figure. The manufacturing sector also saw a decline of 0.3%.

However, the service sector, which is now the biggest part of the UK economy, saw growth of 0.7%.

Chief economist at research firm Markit, Chris Williamson, commented: "The slowdown is being led by the manufacturing sector, which is seeing a renewed recession as output has now fallen for three consecutive quarters, suffering a 0.3% decline in the three months to September." 

"Manufacturing output has so far fallen 0.9% this year. Producers are struggling as weak demand in many overseas markets, notably China and other emerging nations, is being exacerbated by the appreciation of sterling," he added.

Bad weather

The disappointing figures for the construction industry could have a very simple, and very British, explanation - bad weather, according to the ONS.

The new figures could also influence the timing of a future rate rise by the Bank of England, according to a poll by news agency Reuters. The survey found that economists now think the second quarter of 2016 will be the most likely time to see a move from BoE.

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