Office of National Statistics has declared that the UK economy grew by 0.6% in the last quarter that ended in September due to warmer weather that boosted consumer spending. The figures have brought cheer to economists as the figure is in line with predictions of the Bank of England and is the highest quarterly growth of the UK economy since 2016 when it grew by 0.7%. When the economy had buoyant growth in July analysts had warned that slow underlying momentum would lead to decline and predictably it slowed down in August and September.
Other data from the same period showed that services that constitute two thirds of the UK’s economy grew by only 0.3% in the last decade. Though 2018 was slow to begin with, construction industry grew by 2.1% during the last quarter, while manufacturing also picked up after a slow start due to strong automobile manufacturing figures during this period. Household expenditure that accounts for a major part of the economy also grew by 0.5% during this quarter, but business investment in new and existing ventures shrank by 1.2% due to uncertainty about Brexit trade settlement.
While experts had predicted business investment to rise from modest 0.2% it has been decreasing for three quarters continuously. The UK’s economy appears to be still recovering from weak start due to weather related issues and though construction and energy production had strong quarters weather played a positive role in it while World Cup encouraged consumer spending. The most worrying factor is the slowdown in business investment that could be attributed to Brexit but car production was up this year towards the last quarter it has gone down when compared to last year as domestic sales were weak but exports kept the automobile industry’s flag flying high. Chancellor Philip Hammond said that there is underlying strength in the UK’s economy with 3.3 million working people, low unemployment and wages rising at a fast pace after a decade.