Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5% in the third quarter of the year, the Office for National Statistics’ second estimate shows. The professional services and finance sectors grew by 1%, offsetting stagnation in the retail and hotels & restaurants sector. All sectors increased growth compared to the second quarter 2011, which saw a growth rate of 0.2%. The Bank of England has forecast that the economy will stagnate in the last three months of this year, and grow at an annual rate of just 0.7-0.8% through most of 2012.

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