RTTNews - Business investment in the UK plunged in the second quarter, marking the biggest drop in more than two decades, a report by the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday.

Business investment dropped 10.4% in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter. This was the largest fall since 1985. Economists expected a decline of 3.6% for the second quarter.

Business investment totaled GBP 29.89 billion, down from GBP 33.37 billion in the first quarter.

On a year-on-year basis, business investment decreased 18.4% in the second quarter. This was the biggest fall since 1967, when records started. Economists were looking for a decrease of 12.2%.

In the second quarter, business investment dropped in most sectors of the economy. Investment in manufacturing declined 17.7% on a sequential basis and it was down 18.4% compared to the same period of the previous year.

UK house prices rose a seasonally adjusted 1.6% month-on-month in August, the Nationwide Building Society said in a report today. That was the biggest monthly gain since December 2006.

In another report, the Confederation of British Industry revealed that UK retail sales fell for the fourth month in a row in August, but retailers are no longer feeling so pessimistic about the outlook for their business situation in the coming months.

The British economic contraction in the second quarter was more than feared, but the pace eased compared to the first quarter, preliminary data showed last month. Gross domestic product declined 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, after falling 2.4% in the first three months of the year. The ONS is set to release updated data on Friday.

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