By Marcus Leach

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that the UK economy grew 0.9% in the third quarter, less than the 1% it had previously estimated.

Output from manufacturing and services sectors grew less than expected. But the decline in output from the construction industry was slightly less than previously thought.

Joe Grice, chief economist at the ONS, told the BBC that the change to the growth figure was "not significant".

He pointed out that despite this strong showing, the economy is still about 3% below the level it reached before the recession.

The UK's services sector, which accounts for the majority of gross domestic product (GDP), or the value of all goods and services produced in the UK, grew by just 0.1% in October, indicating a weak start to the fourth quarter.

David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said that the revised figure is not good news, and that it shows that economic growth remains weak.

“Whilst the third quarter estimate was revised down to 0.9%, estimates for earlier quarters were revised up and the net effect was that annual growth of GDP remains unchanged," he said.

"This reinforces our assessment that the ONS’s original figures were somewhat erratic. Our QES survey has suggested that the economy was stronger than the ONS had reported in earlier quarters, whilst the rebound in the third quarter was less pronounced than they indicated. We would not be surprised to see further revisions along these lines next year.

“Some of the additional detail, revealed by the new estimates, are however positive. Business investment has shown good growth in the third quarter, and there has been a strong improvement in net trade with exports up 1.2%, and imports down 0.4%. This reverses some of the deterioration in net trade that we saw in the first half of the year.

“Notwithstanding these positive developments, it is clear that economic growth remains much too weak, and more effective measures are needed to enable businesses to drive recovery by strengthening the growth in exports and jobs.”

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