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UK Q3 growth unrevised , trade poses biggest drag on record

Pedestrians walk along the south bank of the River Thames as Tower 42, left, the Leadenhall building, also known as the 'Cheesegrater,' center, and 20 Fenchurch Street, also known as the 'Walkie-Talkie,' stand in the City of London, UK on Jan 28, 2014.

[LONDON] Britain's economy slowed in the three months to September, official data confirmed on Friday, as trade posed the biggest drag on quarterly growth on record against the backdrop of a slowing global economy.

The economy grew 0.5 per cent in the third quarter, the Office for National Statistics said, confirming a preliminary reading, and slowing from 0.7 per cent growth between April and June. The figure was in line with a forecast in a Reuters poll.

Growth was 2.3 per cent higher than a year ago, down from 2.4 per cent in the second quarter and showing the economy had slowed from last year's rapid 2.9 per cent rate which outstripped those of other major advanced economies.

Trade lopped 1.5 percentage points off growth in the third quarter, a sharp turnaround from a contribution of 1.4 percentage points in the second quarter, as imports saw their biggest growth in nearly 10 years.

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The slowdown in Britain's recovery reflects a global economic slowdown led by emerging markets such as China. British exporters have also struggled with a rise in sterling this year.