Britain’s economy bounced back in the second quarter after the Beast from the East cold snap almost brought growth to a standstill.
The Office for National Statistics said the economy grew 0.4% in the three months to the end of June, as was widely expected, up from 0.2% in the first quarter.
ONS statistician Rob Kent-Smith said: “The economy picked up a little in the second quarter with both retail sales and construction helped by the good weather and rebounding from the effects of the snow earlier in the year.
“However, manufacturing continued to fall back from its high point at the end of last year and underlying growth remained modest by historical standards.
“The UK’s trade deficit noticeably worsened as exports of cars and planes declined sharply while imports rose.”
Sterling edged up slightly versus the dollar following the data, but was still trading 0.5% down at 1.27. Against the euro, the pound was up 0.1% at 1.11.
The service sector, which represents about 80% of the economy, grew 0.5% in the second quarter, its strongest expansion since the end of 2016.
Quarterly growth in household spending rose 0.3% from 0.2% in the first quarter, but still below last year’s quarterly average of 1.1% – the weakest annual increase since early 2012.