UK Economy Grows Faster in Q3

LONDON (AP) -- Official figures show that the British economy grew by slightly more than expected in the three months through September, making it more likely that the Bank of England might raise interest rates next month.

The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that the British economy grew by a quarterly 0.4 percent in the third quarter. Analysts had predicted a growth rate of 0.3 percent.

The upbeat sign could persuade the Bank of England to raise its main interest rate from the record low of 0.25 percent in November, in response to above-target inflation.

Darren Morgan, the head of national accounts, says third quarter growth was driven by the services industry, led by increases in IT, motor trades and retail. Manufacturing also boosted the economy.

(KA)