The UK economy grew by 0.2 percent in November, above expectations of a 0.1 percent rise expected by economists, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However, the picture was not entirely positive as GDP rose 0.3 percent over the three months to November compared with the previous quarter, marking the lowest rise in six months. Construction grew by 0.6 percent in November, month on month, while services activity rose by 0.3 percent. Manufacturing contracted by 0.3 percent and production as a whole shrunk by 0.4 percent.
The pound remained relatively stable following the release of the news, the Sterling trading not far off opening levels against the euro at €1.1077 at around 10.45 GMT.
Against the US dollar, the pound was trading at $1.2766.
Head of national accounts at the ONS Rob Kent-Smith said: “Growth in the UK economy continued to slow in the three months to November 2018 after performing more strongly through the middle of the year.
“Accountancy and house-building again grew but a number of other areas were sluggish.
“Manufacturing saw a steep decline, with car production and the often-erratic pharmaceutical industry both performing poorly.”
Mike Jakeman, senior economist at PwC, said: “The latest monthly GDP data adds to existing impressions that the economy is slowing as uncertainty over Brexit intensifies.
“The clear loss of momentum in the UK economy since the summer is as expected, given the ongoing lack of clarity on Brexit.
“For as long as this remains unclear, businesses will continue to defer major investment plans and households will reconsider making big-ticket purchases.”
Separately, the ONS data dump also showed that Britain’s total trade deficit narrowed by £200million to £7.9billion in the three months to November 2018.
Both goods and services exports increased £100 million more than their respective imports.
The figures come as Prime Minister Theresa May again attempts to gain parliamentary approval for her Brexit deal.
The meaningful vote on the terms of Britain leaving the European Union (EU) is set to be held on January 15.