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>> British shoppers helping the country dodge a Brexit slump. New figures Thursday putting third quarter growth at point five percent. That's down on the previous three months but much better than expected. The number confounds forecasts of a sharp slowdown after the vote for an EU exit. Reuters' UK Chief of Economics correspondent Bill Schomberg says it's the service sector driving gains.
>> Manufacturing, industrial production as a whole, construction they're down, but the service sector put in strong growth, zero point eight percent quarter on quarter. And one of the eye catching things within that growth in the services sector was particularly strong growth in films and TV sector.>> But most forecasters still expect the economy to suffer over the longer term, particularly if there's a so-called hard Brexit, leaving the EU without retaining access to the single market.
It all leaves the Bank of England with a tough call on rates.>> Now, after the fall in sterling, which has got a lot weaker since the Bank of England was talking about the possibility of a rate cut, that's gonna push up inflation. There have been signs obviously now that the economy has fared a lot better than the bank was originally expecting.
So, the expectation really is now that the Bank of England will not cut rates in November, but it will keep the option open of doing that in February.>> Now, Prime Minister Theresa May, set to formally trigger the departure process by the end of March. Brexit backers will argue that Thursday's numbers show there is nothing to fear.