British economy grows 0.8% in third quarter


LONDON — The British economy grew at its fastest annual pace in more than three years between July and September, according to figures out Friday, reducing the chances of an interest rate cut later this year.

The Office for National Statistics said its first estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product showed growth of 0.8 percent, in line with the previous three months and ahead of forecasts for a slowdown to 0.7 percent. The annual rate of growth of 3.3 percent was the best figure since the second quarter of 2004 and above expectations of 3.1 percent. Some economists had tipped the Bank of England to cut interest rates before the end of the year to offset the effect of the global credit crisis on the domestic economy.