LONDON–The U.K. economy expanded in the third quarter at its fastest pace in almost two years, one of only a handful of countries in Europe to avoid a broad slowdown across the continent.
Figures nonetheless show the British economy lost momentum as summer turned to fall, suggesting growth is faltering as the U.K. enters its final five months as a member of the European Union.
The U.K. economy expanded in the third quarter at an annualized rate of 2.5%, the fastest clip since the last three months of 2016, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. Compared with the previous quarter, the economy grew 0.6%.
The expansion was powered by consumer spending and a buoyant performance on trade. A pickup in exports was accompanied by a fall in imports, primarily cars, as hiccups in new emissions tests hit automobile production elsewhere in Europe, the agency said. Business investment fell on the quarter, underscoring how uncertainty about the U.K.’s future ties to the EU is crimping corporate spending.
The U.K.’s growth spurt puts it among the best-performing EU economies in the third quarter, outpacing France and Italy and keeping pace with Spain.
Write to Jason Douglas at Jason.Douglas@wsj.com and Paul Hannon at Paul.Hannon@wsj.com
Dow Jones Newswires