British economic growth slowed more than expected in the three months to September after the biggest fall in construction in three years, raising the chances that a period of rapid economic growth is coming to an end.
Third-quarter gross domestic product growth slowed to 0.5 per cent, from 0.7 per cent in the three months to June, a bigger slowdown than economists’ forecasts of a small drop to 0.6 per cent, the Office for National Statistics said.
Output was 2.3 per cent higher than a year earlier, compared with a forecast for it to sustain the second quarter’s 2.4 per cent rate of growth, and the smallest increase in two years.
Britain’s economy was the fastest growing in the G7 group of advanced economies in 2013 and 2014, as it caught up some of the ground it lost after the financial crisis. But earlier this month the International Monetary Fund forecast growth would slow to 2.5 per cent this year, closer to Britain’s long-run average.
The latest growth figures may also give pause for thought to the Bank of England, which had also forecast that the economy would grow by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter.