By Daniel Hunter

There was a surprise fall in business investment in the third quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said business investment dropped by 0.7% in the third quarter, compared with the previous quarter.

But there was a 0.8% increase in consumer spending, the figures show.

Earlier today (Wednesday), the ONS confirmed that the UK economy grew by 0.7% in the third quarter.

Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said: "While business investment posted a bit of a dip, this isn't yet cause for concern as surveys of intentions across the private sector seem to be holding."

Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight said the fall could be "a sign that companies are adopting a more cautious approach in the face of increased global growth concerns (particularly weakness in the eurozone) and mounting political uncertainty in the UK as the 2015 general election looms".

"It is important for both balanced, sustainable UK growth and for improving productivity that that business investment holds up well going forward."

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