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UK economy growth continues apace

Growth in the British economy has not been halted by five interest rate rises over the last year, official figures have revealed.The government says that in the second quarter of 2007 GDP growth was measured at 0.8 per cent, compared to the 0.7 per cent figure recorded in the previous three months.According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the rise was caused by "stronger production and construction output offsetting weaker growth in total services".Today's figures mark the sixth consecutive quarter that GDP growth has outpaced average levels.Earlier this month the Bank of England raised interest rates to 5.75 per cent following identical quarter point rises in May and January this year and November and August 2006.The Bank has been attempting to rein in inflationary pressures and slow growth in the UK's buoyant housing market.On the GDP figures, the ONS noted that the UK economy was still driven by the services industry, while "strong manufacturing [demand]" boosted production to a 0.6 per cent rise, which compared to a 0.1 per cent fall in the previous quarter.But on the slight decrease noted in services the agency added: "This is mostly caused by weaker distribution, hotels and restaurants and government and other services. Business services and finance showed increased growth in the second quarter."

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