British economy grows 0.3% in second quarter

London (AFP) –


Britain's economy grew by 0.3 percent between April and June, a slight increase compared with the first quarter of the year, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product had stood at 0.2 percent growth between January and March, the ONS confirmed, while the second-quarter reading matched analysts' consensus forecast.

The data comes shortly after the International Monetary Fund downgraded its 2017 growth estimate for Britain amid Brexit uncertainty.

The ONS on Wednesday said that UK growth in the second quarter had been "driven by services, which grew by 0.5 percent" largely thanks to the retail sector.

"Construction and manufacturing were the largest downward pulls on quarterly GDP growth, following two consecutive quarters of growth," the ONS added in a statement.

At the weekend, the IMF revised down its 2017 GDP forecast for Britain by 0.3 points to 1.7 percent following weaker-than-expected activity in the first quarter, while noting also that the impact of Britain's exit from the European Union "remains unclear".