World Cup drinkers boost UK GDP

STORY: World Cup fever swept much of the UK in November, and helped drive an unexpected boost for the economy.

Official data out Friday (January 13) showed people going to pubs to watch the games helped lift gross domestic product 0.1% from October.

That was better than analyst predictions of a 0.2% decline.

The services sector was the best-performing part of the economy.

Its output was up 0.2% on the month despite rail and postal strikes.

Officials also said early pre-Christmas spending on video games helped.

But the outlook for the UK is still weak.

The ONS said economic output in November was 0.3% lower than before the health crisis.

All other Group of Seven economies have improved on pre-crisis levels.

Consumer price inflation also hit a 41 year high of 11.1% in October.

While living standards have had their biggest squeeze in decades.

The government wants to halve inflation this year.

In November, the Bank of England forecast that price rises would slow to around 5% by the end of this year.