UK set to avoid recession as film and TV boosts growth

Booming service sector offsets manufacturing slump in three months to August.

The UK economy is on track to avoid a recession ahead of the latest Brexit deadline, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Official data shows that output grew 0.3% in the three months to August compared with the previous quarter. This was up from the 0.1% expansion in the three months to July.

Services were the main driver of the expansion in gross domestic product (GDP), with 0.4% growth, offsetting a 0.7% contraction in manufacturing output.

The BBC reported that TV and film production, such as the makinging of Netflix’s drama The Crown, starring Claire Foy, was an important driver of growth, more than compensating for other activity languishing in that month.

Despite a 0.1% per cent fall in August compared with the previous month, the ONS said the economy would have to shrink sharply in September for the third quarter to show an overall contraction.

The figures will ease fears of a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of falling output. In July, output expansion beat expectations, largely because of renewed Brexit preparations.

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