British economic slowdown faster than expected in 3rd quarter

London - The British economy slowed down faster in the third quarter of 2008 than previously estimated, official figures showed Tuesday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy contracted by 0.6 per cent between July and September - higher than the previous estimate of 0.5 per cent.

The previous quarter was left unrevised, with a figure of zero growth.

The economic growth figures are closely watched because two consecutive negative figures are generally thought to indicate a recession.

The latest figures show that the slowdown has spread from the financial services sector to manufacturing, the ONS said.

The government is expected to produce its first estimate of growth between October and December early in 2009. (dpa)

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