Economic growth exceeds expectations in third quarter

Official figures have revealed that UK economic growth exceeded expectations in the third quarter (Q3) of 2017.

Data suggests that UK gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4 per cent during the three months to September, 0.1 per cent higher than previously forecast in a far-reaching poll conducted by Reuters.

The rate of growth was also up by 0.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Commenting shortly after the news broke, Chancellor Philip Hammond said that the data represented “solid performance” for the economy.

He praised the fact that growth had “outperformed market expectations” and said that this had continued to be the case ever since the European Union (EU) referendum last year.

“My focus now, and going into the Budget, is on boosting productivity so that we can deliver higher-wage jobs and a better standard of living for people across the country,” he said.

After the data was unveiled, sterling rose on currency markets, advancing by one per cent against the dollar to just above $1.32.

Commentators have said that an interest rate hike is now looking increasingly likely at the Bank of England’s upcoming policy meeting, which is due to take place next week.

Earlier this month, Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney hinted strongly that an interest rate rise was just around the corner.