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UK economy returned to growth in August with 0.2% rise in GDP

The UK’s economy grew slightly by 0.2 per cent in August, in a recovery from a 0.6 per cent drop in July as the country looks to avoid falling into recession.

The country’s service sector led the way in the slight rise in GDP, the Office for National Statistics has said.

Gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.2 per cent over the month, in line with what economists had expected.

The ONS also said it had downgraded July’s performance from a fall of 0.5 per cent to a 0.6 per cent drop.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the figures were a sign of the resilience of the UK economy.

He said: “The UK has grown faster than France and Germany since the pandemic and today’s data shows the economy is more resilient than expected.

“While this is a good sign, we still need to tackle inflation so we can unlock sustainable growth.”

The data showed some of the biggest gains for architects and engineers, with their sector growing by 4.7 per cent. This helped the services sector grow by 0.4 per cent overall in August, helping to grow GDP.

The education sector, which had shrunk 1.7 per cent due in part to strikes in July, rose by 1.6 per cent in August, the ONS said.

Not all parts of the service sector had a good month, however. The arts, entertainment and recreation sector shrank by 7.4 per cent.

The ONS also said it had downgraded July’s performance from a fall of 0.5% to a 0.6% drop.

“Our initial estimate suggests GDP grew a little in August, led by strong growth in services which was partially offset by falls in manufacturing and construction,” ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said.

“Within services, education returned to normal levels, while computer programmers and engineers both had strong months.

“Across the last three months as a whole the economy has grown modestly, led by car manufacturing and sales, and construction.”

This story is being updated

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