United Kingdom economy grows by 0.4% in the third quarter of 2017

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The rise fuelled expectations the Bank will move to make borrowing less attractive and tackle rising inflation next month by raising interest rates from their post-Brexit vote low of 0.25%.

'While GDP growth in Q3 was a slight uptick on the previous quarter, the UK's combined economic growth performance over the first nine months of 2017 was still the weakest since late 2012, and indicates that the United Kingdom economy remains locked onto a low growth trajectory.

"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". Higher rates can help rein in inflation but are likely to also weigh on growth. Longer term, stronger economic growth both here in the United Kingdom and overseas should drive improved corporate performance supporting higher market valuations.

Daniel Hegarty, chief executive officer and founder of Habito, said today's results makes an interest rate hike next week nearly certain: "For most people, the real impact of today's GDP announcement will be felt with the Bank of England's interest rate decision next week".

A Reuters poll published on Tuesday showed the BoE is widely expected to raise rates to 0.50% from 0.25% on November 2, due to concerns that the economy can not grow as fast as it used to without generating excess inflation. "The key uncertainty for the central bank is whether it will increase base rates any further in 2018".

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the United Kingdom economy grew by £488,862m, or 0.4% in the July-September period.

Hammond told broadcasters the growth figures were "solid" and proof of the fundamental strength of an economy that since the referendum had often made forecasters look too pessimistic.

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"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".

Britain's budget watchdog has said it expects to chop its forecasts for productivity growth in coming years, suggesting the economy will have less room to grow without generating inflation - a diagnosis shared by BoE governor Mark Carney.

Nonetheless, most economists polled by Reuters think it would be a mistake for the BoE to hike interest rates now, in part because of the economic uncertainty generated by the Brexit process.

'While the services sector was the largest contributor to GDP growth in Q3, the latest data confirms that activity in the sector remains muted, with growth unchanged from the previous quarter.

Britain's powerhouse services sector, which accounts for around 79 per cent of economic growth, grew by 0.4 per cent in line with the quarter before.

"Manufacturing also boosted the economy with an improved performance after a weak second quarter", Darren Morgan, the ONS' head of national accounts said in a statement.