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Value of UK non-financial business economy up 5.6 pct in post-referendum year

The value of Britain's non-financial business economy increased by 5.6 percent in 2017, the first full year after the decision to leave the European Union (EU), figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed Thursday.
This represented an increase of 66.7 billion pounds (88 billion U.S. dollars) compared with 2016.
ONS said the non-financial services sector accounted for over half (56.7 percent) of the total gross value added at basic prices (aGVA) in 2017 and was worth 714.8 billion pounds (938.2 billion U.S. dollars).
During the year it saw an increase of 6.8 percent, or 45.3 billion pounds (60 billion U.S. dollars) compared with 2016. It was the eighth consecutive year of growth by the sector, said ONS.
The sector includes professional, scientific, communication, administrative, transport, accommodation and food, private health and education, and entertainment services.
Production industries were worth 236.9 billion pounds, with 173.2 billion pounds (227.3 billion U.S. dollars) earned by manufacturing, followed by energy generation and supply, water management and the mining and quarrying industry.
The distribution industry, covering retail and wholesale and worth 202.6 billion pounds (266 billion U.S. dollars), experienced the largest increase in turnover with a growth of 14.6 percent in 2017 compared with 2016, mainly influenced by recent increases in the price of oil.
The construction industry, which includes house building and civil engineering, was worth 103 billion pounds (135.2 billion U.S. dollars).
ONS said that during the economic downturn period between 2008 and 2009, both turnover and purchases fell. But following that period, both followed a similar pattern of increase until 2013.
Between 2013 and 2015 the levels of turnover and purchases started to again decline, but in the most recent period both have started to show an increase, ONS added.
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