UK economy grows 0.1% as services activity strengthens

The UK economy unexpectedly expanded in November, boosted by a stronger services activity linked with the Fifa men’s football World Cup.

GDP increased 0.1 per cent between October and November 2022, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday. A Reuters poll of economists forecast a 0.2 per cent contraction.

“The economy grew a little in November with increases in telecommunications and computer programming helping to push the economy forward,” said Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics. “Pubs and bars also did well as people went out to watch World Cup games.”

Output in consumer-facing services grew 0.4 per cent in November, with the largest contribution to growth coming from food and beverage service activities in the month when the World Cup started.

However, this was partially offset by contraction in some manufacturing industries, including the often-erratic pharmaceutical industry, as well as falls in transport and postal services, partially due to the impact of strikes.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: The most important help we can give is to stick to the plan to half inflation this year so we get the economy growing again.”

In the three months to November, the economy contracted 0.3 per cent as high inflation and rising borrowing costs hit household finances and business activity.

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