United Kingdom economy stronger than expected in boost for Carney's rate hike plan

Mark Carney will now come under pressure to raise interest rates

PAMark Carney will now come under pressure to raise interest rates

Darren Morgan, the ONS' head of national accounts, said: "Services, led by increases in IT, motor trades and retail, continued to drive GDP growth".

It may not be a great picture either; economists predict that GDP rose by just 0.3% during the quarter, significantly below the long-term trend growth.

Growth was "slightly higher" than the 0.3% predicted by City analysts, The Independent reports, but it came at a "slower pace" than previous year.

United Kingdom economic growth picked up in the third quarter of the year to a better than expected 0.4%, according to preliminary figures.

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"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". The dominant services sector grew 0.4%, matching its Q2 performance, while manufacturing returned to growth after a weak second quarter, expanding 1.0%.

Today's healthcheck on the United Kingdom economy is particularly important, as chancellor Philip Hammond weighs up what tax and spending changes to make in November's budget.

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee last lifted rates in July 2007, taking the base rate to 5.75 per cent before the financial crisis caused it to plummet.

On a year-on-year basis, meanwhile, Britain's economy expanded 1.5% in the third quarter, matching both analysts' expectations and the rate of expansion recorded in the corresponding period 12 months ago.

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A rate rise is seen as a negative for stock markets, which have grown fat from almost a decade of cheap money from central banks, however most believe Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will now be forced to hike at the Bank's next meeting on 2 November. "Employment growth remains strong, with the UK's unemployment rate among the lowest in the G7".

However he acknowledged there was nothing in this or other recent data that suggested the slowdown was in danger of turning into a recession or a shorter timetable for the expected interest rate rise. "The key uncertainty for the central bank is whether it will increase base rates any further in 2018".

Inflation in the United Kingdom has jumped to a five-and-a-half year high at 3%, while wage growth remains subdued.

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