FTSE 100 Drifts Lower On Rate Rise Buzz

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UK GDP increased by 0.4% in Q3, beating economists' forecasts for a 0.3% rise and slightly above the growth seen in the first two quarters, according to the latest ONS statistics.

Heightened uncertainty and pressure on incomes will continue despite an unexpected increase in economic growth in the last quarter, it's been claimed.

According to Gregory, the United Kingdom economy looks set to grow by roughly 1.6 percent this year, and approximately 2 percent in 2018.

"Today's numbers seem to have increased the likelihood of an interest rate rise next week, with sterling gaining nearly half a cent against the dollar".

Against those headwinds, industrial production has been on a much better footing in Q3, so the overall growth estimate will depend on the extent to which the services sector rebounded in August and September. While motoring and retail also performed well, construction contracted for the second quarter in a row.

Speaking during a visit to the Francis Crick Institute, the largest biomedical research laboratory in Europe, the chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, said: "We have a successful and resilient economy which is supporting a record number of people in employment".

The "surprise acceleration" has paved the way for the Bank of England to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade next week, says Bloomberg.

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The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), led by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney (pictured), will meet next on 2 November.

'With the latest GDP data confirming that the United Kingdom economy is still in a challenging period, these figures are likely to weigh on whether the MPC will raise interest rates next month.

Recent months have seen growing speculation that a rate rise could be imminent, with many economists predicting that we may see an increase as early as November.

A rate rise by the BoE would act to curb inflation.

After a number of years hovering around 1%, United Kingdom inflation now stands at 2.9% - the highest level since 2012.

However, he said such a move would be "largely symbolic" as it merely reverses the quarter-per-cent cut that the MPC made a year ago.