Do the latest GDP figures suggest everything's actually okay after the Brexit vote?


Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5% in the third quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced.

This is better than was being predicted - so to get you up to speed, here's everything you need to know about the UK's economy.

So what has happened?

(Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

The economy bucked expectations of a substantial slowdown in the three months after the Brexit vote, thanks to a "strong performance" from the powerhouse services sector.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5% in its first estimate of third quarter growth, down slightly from 0.7% in the second quarter.

This is good news, because economists had been predicting a somewhat gloomier fall of 0.3% from the previous quarter.

What caused the higher-than-expected GDP figure?

(Andrew Gray/PA)

Services, mainly - they grew by 0.8% between July and September, in part because of a robust performance by the movie industry after the release of Ghostbusters, Jason Bourne, The BFG and Star Trek Beyond in July.

The main boost to services came from transport, storage and communication, which grew at its fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2009.

What industries have been performing badly?

(Peter Byrne/PA)

Construction saw the steepest fall since the third quarter of 2012, with the industry dropping 1.4% between July and September this year after a slide in housebuilding.

Manufacturing dropped by 1% in the third quarter, while production fell 0.4% and agriculture slipped by 0.7%.

What do the economists say about all this?

(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Joe Grice, ONS chief economist, said the data provided the "most comprehensive picture so far of the post-referendum UK economy", reflecting information from more than 37,000 businesses.

"While quarterly growth has fallen slightly, the economy has continued to expand at a rate broadly similar to that seen since 2015 and there is little evidence of a pronounced effect in the immediate aftermath of the vote," he added.

What does this all mean moving forward?

(Frank Augstein/AP)

The economy's surprise resilience in the third quarter will cast doubts over the Bank of England moving to cut interest rates again in November.

While the news is better than expected, dark economic clouds are still gathering on the horizon.

Inflation hit 1% - its highest level for nearly two years - in September and is expected to rise further as the plunging pound ramps up costs.

Sterling has sunk more than 20% against the US dollar since Britain voted to leave the European Union.