British economy grows faster than expected in Q2

LONDON - Britain’s economy accelerated slightly faster than expected in the second quarter of 2007, boosting expectations that further interest rate rises will be need to curb inflation.

By (Reuters)

Published: Fri 20 Jul 2007, 5:41 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:21 PM

The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product rose by 0.8 percent in the three months to June, notching up its sixth consecutive quarter of above-average growth.

Analysts had forecast growth of 0.7 percent, the same as the first quarter. Annual growth came in at 3.0 percent, also above the 2.9 percent forecast.

Sterling rose as investors piled on bets that interest rates would rise again before long.

“We look for the next quarter-point increase in the autumn,” said Mark Miller, an economist at HBOS.

The Bank of England raised interest rates to a six-year high of 5.75 percent this month and remains concerned that strong demand and capacity constraints are putting upward pressure on prices.

A breakdown of the data showed that overall growth was still being driven by services which make up 74 percent of total output, even though growth in the sector decelerated slightly.

Service sector output expanded by 0.8 percent, down from 0.9 percent in the first quarter.

Industrial output rose 0.6 percent on the quarter, its fastest rate in more than a year, boosted by a recovery in manufacturing and production from the new Buzzard oil field in the North Sea.

Production could have been even higher but for unusual weather over the quarter. Record high April temperatures cut the need for heating while the wettest June on record reduced demand for electricity for cooling.

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