The services sector went up at a faster 2.6 percent (2.5 percent in the previous period), with activities in distribution, hotels and restaurants recording the highest growth rate (5 percent from 4.8 percent in the previous period), followed by business services and finance (2.7 percent from 2.3 percent); transport, storage and communication (2.4 percent from 2.8 percent) and government services (1.2 percent from 1.4 percent).
Industrial output growth accelerated to 1.8 percent from 0.3 percent in the previous period: manufacturing went up 1.4 percent, recovering from falls in each of the previous four quarters; the output for electricity, gas, steam and air increased 4.7 percent, the first gain in four quarters; water supply and sewerage increased at a slower 5.8 percent (7.1 percent in the previous period) and mining and quarrying posted the first drop in six quarters (-0.7 percent after rising 6 percent in the previous period).
The construction sector shrank 1.2 percent following a 0.2 percent rise in the previous period. It is the first decline since the first quarter of 2013 when it fell 4.9 percent.
On a quarterly basis, the UK’s economy advanced 0.6 percent, higher than a 0.4 percent expansion in the previous period and better than market expectations of 0.4 percent.