Britain's economic growth has slowed only moderately after the nation's referendum in favor of leaving the EU. Government representatives viewed this as a sign that the challenges ahead were manageable.
Third-quarter gross domestic product expanded by 0.5 percent in the UK, the national statistics office announced Thursday while presenting the first quarterly report after Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union.
The figure meant only a slight slowdown compared with 0.7-percent growth in the previous three months.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) added that third-quarter GDP rose by 2.3 percent in a year-on-year comparison.
"The pattern of growth continues to be broadly unaffected following the referendum, with a strong performance in the services industries offsetting falls in other industrial groups," the agency said in a statement.
Finance Minister Philip Hammond said the GDP data pointed to a resilient UK economy.
Sterling, which had plunged to multi-year lows against the greenback and the euro since the Brexit outcome, experienced a brief rally on the latest data.
Good news from Nissan
Britain's economy won another boost Thursday on a pledge by Japanese carmaker Nissan to build new car models in the UK. It said it would produce its new Qashqai sport utility vehicle at its plant in Sunderland, following weeks of uncertainty over the auto maker's plans.
"This vote of confidence shows Britain is open for business and that we remain an outward-looking, world-leading nation," said Prime Minister Theresa May.
She had denied that Britain was heading for a hard Brexit and insisted her hopes for immigration control were not incompatible with a good trade deal with the EU.
The CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes, said Thursday Britain should publicly reassure firms that the key advantages of EU membership would be kept following Brexit. He called for a "competitive business environment, the ability to recruit talent from abroad and the continuation of all the benefits of the single market as we leave the EU."
hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)