UK economy grows by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter

The UK economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2013, according to the preliminary estimate of GDP from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figure met the expectations of most experts and, combined with the 0.7 per cent growth seen in the second quarter, it means the economy has seen best two consecutive quarters of growth since the first half of 2010.

All four major sectors of the economy contributed to growth, with the services, construction, agriculture and production sectors all seeing expansion in the three months to the end of September.

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The ONS said GDP is still 2.5 per cent lower it was at the end of the first quarter in 2008, although the output from the services sector is now slightly higher than it was before the downturn.

Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “Growth across the UK economy has picked up again in the third quarter of this year according to the first estimates from ONS.

“With three consecutive quarters of growth and a clean sweep of positive numbers across all the major economic sectors, this is the strongest run of data for three years.

“Manufacturing also now seems to have some get up and go with the recent expansion the fastest since Q3 2010, and is bang in line with all the survey evidence we have seen in recent months.”