The stronger than expected growth will further dampen expectations that the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee will cut interest rates next week. The economy has slowed slightly but by nothing like as much as feared and the Office for National Statistics says that "the pattern of growth continues to be broadly unaffected following the EU referendum". That pattern is however a rather unbalanced one, the only sector of the economy that continued to grow was services up by 0.8%; agriculture, manufacturing production and construction all shrank.
Brexit supporters will take these figures as a sign that warnings about the economic costs of voting to leave the EU were nothing more than scaremongering. Remain supporters will argue that they were warning about potential damage over a period of several years. They say that only prompt action by the Bank of England saved deeper damage to the economy and that worse is to come.
Welcoming the figures, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond said: "The fundamentals of the UK economy are strong and today's data show that the economy is resilient."
However, Labour's Shadow Treasury Minister, Jonathan Reynolds said: "Continued disappointing, sluggish growth shows the failures of the Tories' economic approach after six years in power, especially for the manufacturing sector which shows little sign of benefiting from lower sterling.