United Kingdom economic growth remains lacklustre in second quarter

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Growth picked up slightly in the second quarter of 2017

"Normally you would be hoping for growth of about 0.7% to keep the United Kingdom growing in line with its long run potential".

Construction and manufacturing were the largest downward pulls, following two consecutive quarters of growth, the ONS said.

Professional services firm PwC last week trimmed its forecast for economic expansion, anticipating growth of just 1.5 per cent in 2017 and 1.4 per cent in 2018 from 1.8 per cent growth a year ago.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.3% on a quarterly basis in the three months to the end of June, in line with forecast and higher than the 0.2% gain recorded in the first quarter.

The second quarter performance was underpinned by the services sector, with output expanding by 0.5 per cent between April and June, up from 0.1 per cent for the quarter before.

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The Chancellor has warned the economy is likely to be turbulent while Brexit is negotiated.

GDP per head, which takes into account the growing population, was meagre, at only 0.1 per cent during the quarter, the ONS said.

The ONS said the growth was driven by services, particularly retail and the country's thriving film industry.

Motion pictures were the second biggest contributor from the services sector, growing by 8.2 per cent and bolstering GDP by 0.07 percentage points.

The British economy expanded in line with expectations in the second quarter of 2017, as retailers and the film industry delivered a slight improvement from weaker growth earlier in the year. Meanwhile average weekly earnings grew by only 1.8 per cent.

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On Monday, the International Monetary Fund slashed its United Kingdom growth forecast for this year and warned the British economy was "tepid".

The second-quarter GDP reading compares with a 0.4 per cent pace predicted by the Bank of England, where policy makers are divided on the outlook for the economy and how to respond.

The IMF said it remained optimistic about a good Brexit deal and had not cut expectations for economic growth in future years.

And the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) anticipates that the United Kingdom economy will grow by just 1.3 per cent in 2017, a substantial downward revision from an earlier forecast of 1.7 per cent. The better spending figures were largely due to summer weather.

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