United Kingdom economy grows by 0.4% in the third quarter of 2017

Posted October 27, 2017

Nationwide Building Society has said it also expects a quarter percentage point rise in November, but sees any increase only having a "modest" effect on already stretched United Kingdom households. The services sector grew by a more underwhelming 1.5pc on the year. "Philip Hammond is expected to announce measures to address the problem in his autumn Budget next month - though whether they will work is open to debate".

United Kingdom growth gained a little momentum in the third quarter thanks to strong performances in the services sectors and a return to growth for manufacturing, official data revealed on Wednesday.

The growth rate is similar to that in the first two quarters, with the main contributors being business services and the finance sector, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figure will help boost speculation that the Bank of England may look to raise interest rates at its monetary policy meeting next week.

He added: "Today's numbers seem to have increased the likelihood of an interest rate rise next week, with sterling gaining nearly half a cent against the dollar".

One rate rise, or more?

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Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "A slightly improved performance from the United Kingdom economy in Q3, with output growing by 0.4%". So, while symbolically important, it's unlikely the first rate hike in ten years will be catastrophic for the economy.

A rise would quickly hit those on tracker mortgages, which follow at a fixed margin above or below the BoE base rate.

The Q3 figure came in at 0.4 per cent, rising 0.1 percentage points in each respective quarter this year.

The impact of weaker sterling since the European Union referendum in June 2016 continues to impact on businesses and inflation reaching three per cent could, effectively, lead to the MPC increasing interest rates. "I expect the Bank to proceed with caution from here".

"If the MPC doesn't raise interest rates on 2 November following this preliminary GDP estimate, Mark Carney will be branded as the central banker who cried wolf once too often". Raising rates too fast would risk choking off economic growth by dampening demand in the economy.