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UK GDP Growth Improves In November, Yet Momentum Remains Subdued

UK economic growth improved for a second straight month in November, led by services and construction growth, and exceeded economists' expectations, but the growth momentum slowed over the three-month period, the monthly estimate from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday.

Gross domestic product grew 0.2 percent from October, when the economy expanded 0.1 percent. Economists had expected the pace of growth to remain unchanged. In September, GDP stagnated.

Construction output rose 0.6 percent month-on-month in November, which was double the 0.3 percent growth economists had expected.

Services output grew 0.3 percent from the previous month after a 0.2 percent increase in October. Economists had predicted a 0.1 percent gain.

The main driver to growth was retail sales, which saw a boost from Black Friday promotions, which was partially offset by a slight contraction in legal activities and accounting, the ONS said.

Production decreased 0.4 percent from the previous month, while economists had expected a 0.2 percent increase. Manufacturing decreased 0.3 percent from the previous month, while economists had expected a 0.4 percent increase.

In the three months to November, GDP increased 0.3 percent from the previous three months.

"Growth in the UK economy continued to slow in the three months to November 2018 after performing more strongly through the middle of the year," ONS Head of National Accounts Rob Kent-Smith said.

"Accountancy and house building again grew but a number of other areas were sluggish."

"Manufacturing saw a steep decline, with car production and the often-erratic pharmaceutical industry both performing poorly," he added.

Separate data from the ONS showed that the visible trade deficit rose to GBP 12.02 billion in November from GBP 11.94 billion in October. Economists had expected a deficit of GBP 11.4 billion.

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