UK economy grows 0.4% as warm weather and World Cup push up retail sales

UK economy grows 0.4% as warm weather and World Cup push up retail sales
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BRITAIN’S economy has seen a boost this quarter, as glorious weather and the World Cup drove a 0.4 per cent boost.

The Beast from the East saw the economy slow at the beginning of the year, but in the last three months it has seen an upturn.

 Holidaymakers make the most of the summer heatwave in Bournemouth, Dorset, last week

Alamy Live News

Holidaymakers make the most of the summer heatwave in Bournemouth, Dorset, last week

Strong figures from the services sector and construction pushed up the figures, but cars and planes exports saw a slight dip.

The figures compare to just 0.2 per cent growth in the first three months of the year, as the poor weather and a collapse in construction hit the economy – the worst figures since late 2012.

The World Cup was also hailed as “consumers took advantage of the celebrations” to buy more food and drink.

A combination of sunny weather, football festivities, two bank holidays and a Royal Wedding led to more beer, barbecues and summer clothes being sold.

 Our economy grow 0.4% in the last three months, new figures have shown

PA

Our economy grow 0.4% in the last three months, new figures have shown

But the trade deficit widened to £8.6billion in the last month, as experts fell and imports picked up.

Head of National Accounts Rob Kent-Smith said today: “The economy picked up a little in the second quarter with both retail sales and construction helped by the good weather and rebounding from the effects of the snow earlier in the year.”

“However, manufacturing continued to fall back from its high point at the end of last year and underlying growth remained modest by historical standards.

“The UK’s trade deficit noticeably worsened as exports of cars and planes declined sharply while imports rose.”

 GDP growth over time

ONS

GDP growth over time

But Labour’s John McDonnell said that the Tories’ cuts had hit growth.

He said today: “More than eight years of unnecessary ideologically-driven austerity has created an economy unable to cope with the instability brought about by the Tories’ mismanagement of the Brexit negotiations. The result is low growth and stagnant pay.”



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