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Q3 UK growth double expectations, says ONS

(SHARECAST) – Britain’s economy grew twice as fast as expected during the third quarter, according to the latest information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The UK grew by 0.8 percent in the three months to the end of September, according to preliminary estimates from the ONS. Analysts had only forecast growth of 0.4 percent.

Year-on-year expansion came in at 2.8 percent, better than the 2.4 percent pencilled in by experts and ahead of the 1.7 percent reported in the period to June.

In August, the ONS revised second quarter growth up to 1.2 percent from 1.1 percent previously following, a sharp hike in the construction output estimate.

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, still thinks growth will slow to 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter and edge lower still in the first half of 2011. But the third quarter spike means GDP growth is now likely to come in at 1.8 percent in 2010. “We see growth slowing to 1.6 percent in 2011,” says Archer.

Some analysts believed government spending cuts and uncertainties about the strength of the global recovery would halt growth in the third quarter.

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