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Britain’s economy has grown at the slowest annual rate in almost a decade, according to official figures.

Year-on-year growth in the three months to end-September slowed to 1% from 1.3% in the second quarter, the Office for National Statistics said.

An ONS spokesman said: “Looking at the picture over the last year, growth slowed to its lowest rate in almost a decade.”

But the economy avoided a recession by growing 0.3% in the third quarter.

The economy had shrunk in the second quarter and two quarters of contraction would have signalled a recession.

What happened in the three-month period?

Despite the economy expanding by 0.3% in the third quarter, it was not as fast as the 0.4% forecast by economists, including at the Bank of England.

A statistician at the ONS said GDP grew “steadily” in the third quarter. That was largely as a result of a “strong July”.

“The underlying trade deficit narrowed, mainly due to growing exports of both goods and services.”

What happened in September?

In the month of September, GDP fell by 0.1%, as had been expected.

But the ONS revised down the contraction in August to 0.2% from 0.1%.

It was the growth of 0.3% in July that drove the economy in the whole of the third quarter. Read more

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