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Economy grows 0.5% post-Brexit vote

The UK economy grew by a stronger than expected 0.5 per cent between July and September, according to official figures.

The preliminary estimate of GDP from the Office for National Statistics shows that despite beating expectations, growth had nevertheless slowed from 0.7 per cent in Q2. However, GDP remained 2.3 per cent higher in Q3 2016 compared with a year earlier.

Output for the services industry increased by 0.8 per cent between July and September. In contrast, growth declined in the other three main industrial groups, with construction dropping 1.4 per cent, agriculture down by 0.7 per cent and production down 0.4 per cent, within which manufacturing output fell by one per cent.

The ONS's preliminary estimate of growth is made using less than half of the total data required for the final estimate and is subject to revision.

Responding to the figures, Simon Kirby, head of macroeconomic modelling and forecasting at the National Institute for Economic & Social Research, said: "This is the first official estimate of GDP growth for the post-referendum period. It suggests reasonable economic momentum continued into the third quarter of this year, driven by robust consumer spending.

"We expect the economy to slow over the coming year, but it is unlikely that we will see further macroeconomic policy stimulus in the near term."

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry, said: "Growth slowed in the aftermath of the EU referendum, although it's still higher than many expected just after the vote.

"The UK was on firm foundations going into the referendum and it's vital that we now seek to preserve these economic strengths.

"The Government will need to set out an ambitious, pro-enterprise agenda in next month's Autumn Statement which will get firms investing now and lift productivity in the future across all UK regions."

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