United Kingdom household spending slows to lowest level in nearly six years

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Britain's economic growth nudged up in the third quarter, but household spending grew at the slowest pace since 2012 as inflationary pressures continue to weigh on hard pressed consumers.

However, the United Kingdom economy is still struggling to bounce back to levels seen in the final quarter of 2016 - when GDP rose by 0.6%.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said: 'Growth in the third quarter benefited from a pick-up in consumer spending which the ONS indicated was helped by spending on cars increasing after being held back by tax changes in the second quarter.

"After a series of disappointing UK GDP reports, the British government will breathe a sigh of relief after today's results came in above expectations", said UFX managing director Dennis de Jong.

Pantheon chief economist Samuel Tombs highlighted a 0.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter rise.

It comes amid a squeeze on consumer finances from higher inflation, triggered by the Brexit induced collapse in the pound, and dismal wage growth.

"Manufacturing also boosted growth thanks to an increase in exports and the introduction of new vehicle models".

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However, household spending grew by only 0.5%, the lowest rate since Q1 2012.

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, said that talk of an end to United Kingdom growth has been somewhat exaggerated.

The jump was largely attributed to growth in Britain's all important services sector, which performed remarkably well over the summer, although most sectors of the economy also appeared to show steady grow as well.

In its Quarterly National Accounts, the Office for National Statistics, reported that real household disposable household incomes rose by only 0.2 per cent in the three months, while household spending picked up to 0.5 per cent.

Growth in household consumption fell and was revised down to 0.5% for Q3 and household savings also fell, with the ratio dropping from 5.6% to 5.2%. So, with consumers set to struggle with a further fall in real wages, more austerity measures and rising borrowing costs, growth in households' spending must slow over the coming quarters.

Full-year GDP growth for 2017 is forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility to come in at 1.5 per cent, which would the worst annual performance for the United Kingdom economy since 2012.

However, third quarter deficit figures missed disappointed, after widening by £22.78bn, compared with expectations of £20.2bn.