British economic growth unexpectedly picked up speed in the last three months of 2017 as it recorded better-than-expected 0.5 per cent rise, official data shows.
However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that the annual picture remained “slower and more uneven”. This is because, gross domestic product was 1.8 per cent last year as a whole, compared with 1.9 per cent in 2016.
ONS head of GDP Darren Morgan said: “Despite a slight uptick in the latest quarter, the underlying picture is of slower and uneven growth across the economy.”
He told media that the boost to the economy at the end of the year came from a range of services such as recruitment agencies, letting agents and office management though consumer-facing businesses saw much slower growth.
The services sector expanded by 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter – stronger than the 0.4 per cent rise in the three months to September. Manufacturing grew strongly, but construction contracted by 1 per cent.