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Sep 30, 5:57 AM EDT

UK services sector grew more than expected after Brexit vote

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LONDON (AP) -- Britain's pivotal services sector has defied expectations in the weeks after the vote to leave the European Union.

The Office of National Statistics said Friday the sector expanded by a strong 0.4 percent in July, after the June 23 vote to leave the EU. Economists had predicted output would slow to 0.1 percent, from 0.2 percent in June.

The sector accounts for three quarters of the economy.

Darren Morgan of the ONS says data shows there's "no sign of an immediate shock" to the economy from the vote. Construction industry data flat-lined in July, though manufacturing contracted a sharp 0.9 percent.

The U.K. statistics agency also said the economy did better than previously expected in the April-June quarter, growing 0.7 percent, up from the earlier estimate of 0.6 percent

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