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UK economy slows as car sales fall

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Growth in the UK's economy has slowed as car sales fell and the manufacturing sector stalled, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.The economy grew by 0.4% in the three months to October, slower than the 0.6% in the three months to September."GDP growth slowed going into the autumn after a strong summer, with a softening in services sector growth mainly due to a fall in car sales," said the ONS's Rob Kent-Smith.GDP grew by 0.1% in October.Mr Kent-Smith, who is head of national accounts at the ONS, said there had been strong growth in IT and accountancy which had offset the fall in car sales.
However, he added: "Manufacturing saw no growth at all in the latest three months, mainly due to a decline in the often-erratic pharmaceutical industry."Construction, while slowing slightly, continued its recent solid performance with growth in housebuilding and infrastructure."
Why has growth slowed
The wholesale and retail trade sectors - which had boosted GDP over the summer months - has now contracted and contributed a negative 0.2% to GDP.But there was growth in the services sector of 0.3% on the three-month rolling measure.
What happened in October?
In October, the first month of the last quarter of the year, the services sector was the only major part of the economy to expand.Industrial production fell 0.6%, with manufacturing output down 0.9%. Output in the construction industry fell 0.2%.Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said the latest growth figures "come on the heels of more up-to-date survey evidence which suggests the economy is approaching stall speed and could even contract as we move into 2019 unless demand revives".
Office for National Statistics
UK economy
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