The UK economy grew by 0.3% in the three months to June – up from 0.2% in the previous quarter, official figures show.
The Office for National Statistics said the slight improved performance in the three months to June was underpinned by the dominant services sector – which represents more than three-quarters of output.
Output increased by 0.5% during the period, up from 0.1% for the previous quarter.
The services sector’s brighter performance was largely driven by the film and retail industries.
Hotels, restaurants and distribution expanded by 1.1% over the period – adding 0.15 percentage points to GDP growth.
Motion pictures were the second biggest contributor to the services sector’s growth – up 8.2% and boosting GDP by 0.07 percentage points.
But the economy was held back by slides of 0.9% in construction and 0.5% in manufacturing.
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Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the figures represented the worst start to the first half of a year since 2012 – and “expose the last seven years of Tory economic failure”.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable warned that only the spending of shoppers had kept the economy moving at a “modest” pace.
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He added ministers’ insistence on “an extreme Brexit” was “creating uncertainty and reducing investment”.
But Chancellor Philip Hammond defended the Government’s record: “Our economy has grown continuously for four and a half years, delivering record levels of employment.
“We can be proud of that; but we are not complacent. We need to focus on restoring productivity growth to deliver higher wages and living standards for people across the country,” he added.
Britain’s economy performed better than expected in the wake of the Brexit vote last year but accelerating price rises – partly driven by the sharp fall in the pound since the vote – now appear to be taking their toll.
Wages fell by 0.2% in the first three months of 2017, the first time there has been a decline for two and a half years.
Sky’s Economics Editor Ed Conway said: “One of the warnings and one of the risks we heard from some economists in the run up to the referendum was that there was likely to be a recession if the UK voted to leave.
“That clearly hasn’t happened and we are now a year on from that, and every quarter has been positive growth.
“But when you look at the numbers here… there is some cause for concern, and also some question marks as to whether this is indeed down to concerns that both households and business are facing over Brexit.”
“Households are feeling squeezed at the moment – inflation is relatively high at the moment and wages still low – and businesses are still unsure about what kind of arrangement we are going to have with the EU, or indeed the rest of the world, over the course of the next few years.”