Capital Economics senior UK economist Ruth Gregory said: “The pick-up is likely to have been driven by stronger growth in the services sector and in particular, retail, alongside a recovery in construction.” 

However Pantheon Macroeconomics chief UK economist Samuel Tombs said closely watched indicators released last week suggest that GDP growth will slow again in the third quarter. 

The Markit CIPS purchasing managers index (PMI) scores for the manufacturing and services sectors in July were weaker than expected and Tombs said: “Retail sales are likely to struggle to beat their weather-boosted level in the second quarter, while the continued hot spell will depress output in the electricity and gas sector.

“The PMIs are consistent with quarter-on-quarter GDP growth of just 0.2 to 0.3 per cent in the third quarter.”

Last week the Bank of England raised its base rate by a quarter percentage point to 0.75 per cent. 

It also signalled the end of ultra-low interest rates, which supported the economy after the global recession but decimated the returns savers enjoyed. 

Outgoing Leeds Building Society chief executive Peter Hill warned that although the base rate is rising, it is unlikely to lead to pre-2007 savings returns. 

Back then the base rate was around 5.5 per cent and the average cash ISA paid a similar amount in interest. 

A decade later, the average cash ISA paid just 0.93 per cent. 

Hill said: “Rates will rise gently, following the base rate trend, not by big steps. 

“The Bank thinks the natural base rate level is at 2 to 3 per cent and it’s difficult to see how savings rates will be higher than that.”


Holiday friends do a runner

Nearly 5 million Britons have tried to get out of paying for their share of holiday restaurant bills and activities with friends, according to research from currency group WeSwap. 

Its nationally representative survey also found that 7.5million Britons spent more than the friends they were with on holiday. 

WeSwap’s findings suggested that more than a quarter of the nation, 11.5million people, often go away on holiday with friends. 

The firm said that the tactics people often used to try to get out of paying their share of costs, at the expense of their friends, include faking phone calls, pretending to be sick and fleeing to the toilet, and conveniently “losing” their purses or wallets just when the bill comes round. 


£10m bailout for payday lender

Payday lender Wonga has received an emergency £10million cash injection from investors to keep it in business. 

The short-term lender needed the bailout, from shareholders Accel Partners and Balderton Capital, to cope with its rising compensation bill. 

Wonga was believed to be at risk of going under. Over the last few months it has seen a surge in claims relating to loans it provided before the introduction of strict affordability rules in 2014. 

At the time, Wonga was mired in scandal for charging its customers thousands in annual percentage rates and for sending them threatening letters from fake law firms. 

A spokesman said: “Wonga has seen a significant increase in claims related to loans taken out before the current management team joined in 2014. 

“As a result, the team has raised £10million of new capital from existing shareholders.”

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