What does this mean? This is a number for how much more was produced in the UK economy in the months between July and September 2015 compared to the same months in 2014, in real terms (controlling for changes in price levels).
Overall, more was produced (and although 0.5% may seem small, UK GDP was US$2.7tr (trillion) in 2013 hence 0.5% of that is still a healthy US$135bn), but the number is slightly lower than was to be expected (apparently 0.6% was expected).
Additionally, growth wasn’t evenly spread over different parts of the economy: the manufacturing sector produced less, as did the construction sector (which had a large fall), although the service sector produced more.
Here’s plenty more “LIVE” commentary from the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/oct/27/uk-gdp-growth-figures-george-osborne-live-updates
Here’s the actual data release from the ONS: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/gva/gross-domestic-product–preliminary-estimate/q3-2015/index.html
We’ll spend time thinking about GDP growth and what it means early in the Spring Term, after Christmas.