On the expenditure side, household expenditure rose 1.8 percent in the third quarter, the same as in Q2. By contrast, government spending fell 0.4 percent after being unchanged in the previous period, and fixed investment dropped 0.3 percent (vs -0.5 percent in Q2) as business investment contracted the most since the first quarter of 2016 (-1.8 percent vs 0.2 percent).
Exports declined 1.3 percent, following a 0.5 percent fall in Q2; while imports rose 0.2 percent, after decreasing by 0.1 percent the previous period. As a result, the trade deficit widened to £6.5 billion from £4.2 billion in Q3 2017.
On the production side, the service industries expanded 1.7 percent (vs 1.6 percent in Q2), as output rose for: distribution, hotels and restaurants (3.1 percent vs 2.7 percent); transport storage and communications (4 percent vs 3.1 percent); business services and finance (1.5 percent vs 1.8 percent); and government and other services (0.1 percent, the same as in Q2). Industrial production went up 0.7 percent (vs 1.1 percent in Q2), as output rose for manufacturing (1.3 percent vs 2 percent) and mining and quarrying (0.5 percent vs -0.9 percent). Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply shrank 1.8 percent after a 1 percent contraction in the previous period; and water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities also declined 0.7 percent, following a 2.1 percent drop in Q2. Construction expanded 1.6 percent, reversing a 0.1 percent decrease in Q2.