The UK economy’s growth slowed in the third quarter of the year, weighed down by the performance of the construction and manufacturing sectors.
Gross domestic product grew by 0.5 per cent between July and September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, down from 0.7 per cent in the second quarter. The rate was also lower than the 0.6 per cent growth predicted by many analysts.
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Part of the slowdown was due to the biggest fall in construction output in three years, a drop of 2.2 per cent, while manufacturing was down 0.3 per cent. The ONS said that unusual wet weather in August may have played a role.
In addition, the service sector, the biggest part of the economy, grew by 0.7 per cent.
Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First, said that Chancellor George Osborne’s much-touted March of the Makers was failing to materialise.
“The recovery has been characterised by a divergence in fortunes of the manufacturing and services sectors. Today’s data only reinforces this problem with manufacturing contracting by 0.3 per cent and services expanding by 0.7 per cent.
“We are still seeing a ‘Stroll of the Shoppers’ more than a ‘March of the Makers.’ Once again, the UK is growing solidly but not spectacularly and concerns must be that if inflation rises without a subsequent pull higher in wages then the consumption engine may begin to sputter.’