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British economy contracts less than expected

  • Britain's economy contracted less than expected during the second quarter, according to official figures released on Thursday.

    The economy shrank by 0.4 percent in the April-to-June period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in its third estimate of gross domestic product.

    Initially, the ONS had estimated a contraction of 0.7 percent before revising it to 0.5 percent last month.

    Analysts expect no change to the second estimate.

    The first figures for any quarter are known as a "flash estimate" as they are based on incomplete statistics. The figures are revised at least twice as more data is collected.

    A 3 percent decline in construction output in the second quarter of 2012 continued to drag down the economy. However, the figure was better than the first and second estimates of a drop of 5.2 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.

    Production output, which includes manufacturing, dropped by 0.8 percent and was revised from a 0.9 percent decline.

    The British economy has contracted for three consecutive quarters.

    The third quarter could see a rebound on the back of an additional boost from the London Olympics.