Business leaders in Greater Birmingham have called on the Chancellor to use the Autumn Budget as an opportunity to boost the competitiveness of the UK economy.

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the UK economy grew by 0.4 per cent in the third quarter.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at a similar rate over the three months to September as it did in the previous two quarters.

The services sector remains the largest contributor to GDP growth, increasing by 0.5 per cent, while manufacturing also grew after a weak Q2.

In the expenditure measure of GDP, there was relatively strong growth in government spending and investment.

However, there was a slowdown in growth in both household spending and business investment, to 0.1 per cent and 0.0 per cent respectively.

Raj Kandola (pictured), senior policy and patronage advisor at the Chamber, said: “Although GDP output remains subdued, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that we are still witnessing growth in both the service and manufacturing sector; a testament to the strong foundations which underpin the national economy.

“As employment across the country continues to reach record levels, this once again points to systemic issues with productivity output amongst our workforce and the upcoming Autumn Budget is the perfect platform for the Chancellor to set out a plan for enhancing the competitiveness of the domestic economy in light of uncertainty caused by Brexit negotiations.

“Many of the trends we saw at the national level were reflected in the findings of our latest economic survey – with manufacturers in particular enjoying a fruitful three months, no doubt helped by the lower value of the pound.

“We will be discussing this topic and others that are impacting local businesses at our Q3 Quarterly Business Report Launch event which takes place on 7 November at Birmingham City University.”