UK avoids recession but grows at slowest rate since 2010

Manufacturing fails to grow but car sector bounces back

A Nissan Juke being assembled in Sunderland. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The British economy grew at its slowest annual rate since 2010 in the third quarter, after rebounding less than expected in the three months to September.

Economic output grew 0.3 per cent compared with the previous quarter, according to data from the Office for National Statistics released on Monday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.4 per cent expansion.

“GDP grew steadily in the third quarter, mainly thanks to a strong July. Services again led the way, with construction also performing well,” said a spokesperson for the office.

“Manufacturing failed to grow as falls in most industries were offset by car production bouncing back following April shutdowns.”


The quarterly expansion marks a rebound from the 0.2 per cent contraction of the second quarter, the worst such economic performance in seven years.

However, the healthy pace of growth was largely the result of solid activity in July, when output rose 0.3 per cent over the previous month. The UK economy contracted both in September and August.

Compared with the same quarter the previous year, output grew 0.9 per cent, the slowest since the first quarter of 2010.

“Looking at the picture over the last year, growth slowed to its lowest rate in almost a decade,” added the spokesperson.

Services activities – which accounts for about 80 per cent of the economy – grew 0.4 per cent in the third quarter, while manufacturing failed to expand. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019