The UK economy grew by 0.6% in the second quarter of 2016, up from 0.4% in Q1, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.
With the period ending one week after the vote to leave the European Union, the figures suggest there was no 'slowing down' because of uncertainty surrounding the vote in the months before the referendum. Does that mean growth won't slow down as much as expected in Q3?
Not only was growth stronger than in Q1, it was more than many economists expected, including the Bank of England, which expected a 0.5% rise.
The ONS said the economy is now 7.7% higher than its pre-crisis peak in 2008.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Twitter: "Britain is open for business – as we enter a period of adjustment, I’m confident we have the tools to manage the challenges ahead."
Before the figures were published, pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline announced a £275 million investment in its manufacturing sites in the UK. It said that despite the UK's decision to leave the European Union, Britain is still "an attractive location".
Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First, said: “Unfortunately we believe the overall UK economic picture is one of recession at the moment and while it is still too early to forecast we are looking for Q3 GDP to fall by anywhere 0.1-0.4%. Today’s data will limit calls that the UK was slowing into the vote however.”
At this stage, the ONS has collected around 50% of the data it needs to give a full picture of the economy. It means we won't know for sure how much the economy grew until September.
Jeremy Cook said: "[The full picture will come] far too late for policymakers at the Bank of England, who begin their next policy meeting a week today. The market has almost completely disregarded this number already with pre-Brexit data losing a slight hint of importance given the Bank of England’s thirst for more present indicators.”
ONS chief economist Joe Grice said: "Continued strong growth across services, particularly in retailing, reinforced by healthy growth in the manufacture of cars and pharmaceuticals, boosted output in the second quarter.
"Any uncertainties in the run-up to the referendum seem to have had a limited effect. Very few respondents to ONS surveys cited such uncertainties as negatively impacting their businesses."