Gross domestic product expanded by 0.8 percent
in the April-June period, as reported in preliminary data last
month and the same pace as in the first three months of the
Compared with the second quarter of last year, the economy
expanded by 3.2 percent, up slightly from an estimate of 3.1
percent in the preliminary reading.
That was the fastest yearly growth since the end of 2007, the
Office for National Statistics said.
Economists in a Reuters poll had expected quarterly growth of
0.8 percent and a yearly expansion of 3.1 percent.
The ONS said the upward revision of the yearly growth rate was
due to a performance by the construction sector that was
stronger than assumed at the time of the preliminary estimate.
The data also confirmed that Britain's economy was 0.2 percent
bigger than in the first quarter of 2008, its previous peak
before the financial crisis.
The ONS did not give a breakdown of the spending which drove
Britain's economic growth as it normally does when it issues its
second reading of GDP. The ONS is changing its methodology for
calculating GDP and will provide those details on September 30.
Despite the strong pace of economic growth, the Bank of England
this week dampened expectations of a rate hike this year. It
said it was paying close attention to prospects for pay, which
has been very weak in recent months.
The ONS confirmed that the dominant services sector was once
again the main driver of Britain's economy between April and
June, expanding by 1.0 percent for the fastest quarterly growth
since the third quarter of 2012.
In the month of June alone, the services sector expanded by 0.3
percent from May and by 3.6 percent compared with June of last
year, its fastest annual growth rate since early 2008, the ONS
Manufacturing edged up just 0.2 percent between April and June,
its weakest growth rate in more than a year.
Construction output was unchanged, a better performance than the
preliminary reading which showed a contraction of 0.5 percent.
It remained the first time that the sector has not grown since
the start of 2013.
Only the services industry - which accounts for about 80 percent
of Britain's economy - is now bigger than before the crisis, at
3 percent above its previous peak. Industrial output and
construction are both still more than 10 percent smaller.
(Reporting by William Schomberg and David Milliken)
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