UK economy grows

Strong consumer spending helped the UK’s economy to grow faster than expected at the end of last year

The economy grew by 0.6% in the October-to-December period, the same rate as in the previous two quarters, according to an initial estimate from the Office for National Statistics.

The figure indicates that the feared slowdown following Brexit has not materialised. For 2016 as whole, the economy grew by 2%, down from 2.2% in 2015.

“Strong consumer spending supported the expansion of the dominant services sector,” said ONS statistician, Darren Morgan.

The dominant services sector - which accounts for about three-quarters of the UK economy - grew by 0.8% in the quarter, helped by growth in the distribution, hotels and restaurant industry. Retail sales and travel agencies also supported growth in this sector, the ONS said.


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