UK economy avoids recession with 0.3pc quarterly growth

12 November, 2019 12:00 AM printer

LONDON: Britain’s Brexit-facing economy avoided entering recession in the third quarter with growth of 0.3 percent, official data showed on Monday.

Gross domestic product rebounded in the July-September period after a 0.2-percent contraction in the second quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in an initial estimate, report agencies.

The technical definition of a recession is two straight quarters of negative growth.

Economic activity was propelled largely by the construction and services sectors, while the production sector was flat.

“GDP grew steadily in the third quarter, mainly thanks to a strong July,” said an ONS spokesman.

“Services again led the way with construction also performing well.

“Manufacturing failed to grow as falls in most industries were offset by car production bouncing back,” he added. The third-quarter performance however fell short of market expectations and the Bank of England’s growth forecast—which had both stood at 0.4 percent.

And despite rebounding growth, the ONS pointed to “signs” of a slowdown, as Britain readies to leave the European Union on January 31.

“The underlying momentum in the UK economy shows some signs of slowing,” it added.