British economy expanded 0.7% during the three months to August, the Office for National Statistics said, beating the market consensus for growth of 0.6%.

While Wednesday's data is likely to come as a pleasant surprise to Bank of England officials who had expected to see slower growth over the third quarter, they will be more cautious about the coming months.

More recent private-sector business surveys point to fairly modest economic growth, suggesting the hot weather may have been a factor behind the upturn seen over the summer months.

In August alone the economy stagnated, the Office for National Statistics said, compared with forecasts for a rise of 0.1%.

In year-on-year terms, growth slowed in August to 1.5% from 1.7% in July.

A flat August for the economy came despite a solid rise in oil and gas output, which reflected a smaller-than-usual amount of maintenance taking place in production sites. Manufacturing output, however, contracted and there was no growth in the services industry.

Separate trade data showed Britain's goods trade deficit with the rest of the world touched a three-month high in August, despite the smallest gap in EU goods trade since September 2015.

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