London: The UK economy grew more strongly than previously estimated in the third quarter on the back of the dominant services sector, figures published Friday showed.

Gross domestic product rose 0.4 per cent instead of 0.3 per cent, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists had expected growth to remain unrevised.

It means the economy easily avoided a recession after a hangover from Brexit stock building caused output to fall in the second quarter.

However, growth remains relatively subdued, with the economy expanding just 1.1 per cent from a year earlier — the weakest annual pace since the start of 2018.

Monthly figures show output last grew in July as Brexit fears and the global slowdown weigh on investment. Economists expect growth to slow to just 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, putting Britain on course for its worst performance since the financial crisis.

Boris Johnson’s election victory means Britain is set to leave the European Union on January 31. But hopes that this might bring certainty to businesses and consumers were quickly dashed when the prime minister raised the prospect of a disruptive Brexit at the end of next year if no trade deal with the EU is reached.

Separate figures showed the current-account deficit narrowed sharply in the third quarter. Government borrowing meanwhile edged higher.