The UK’s latest growth rates are out. Here’s what they actually mean

In sum: we're okay, construction nay, services yay

More stats are out on how well the UK economy is doing at the moment.

What it means: Every few months the government releases figures on 'GDP', or 'gross domestic product' – that's the value of all the goods and services we produce, added up together. The number you usually see in the news is the 'growth' rate – how much the value of all our output has grown or shrunk – rather than the absolute figure itself.

This time, it's grown by an average of 0.2% in the last three months, which is pretty much what people expected. The proportion of GDP from construction and manufacturing is lower than before, which means we're doing less of that, and/or what we're doing is of lower value. But we're doing more in services than we were a few months ago (that's things like programming, legal services, etc).

Generally speaking people tend to assume a growing economy is a good thing – it could mean more people are producing higher value goods, earning money, paying taxes, all that good stuff. But just looking at the percentage figure doesn't really tell you enough: you've got to investigate where that growth is happening and who's benefiting from it to really make up your mind on whether you think it's beneficial.

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