BRITAIN'S recent heatwave has boosted economic growth, according to experts, with both retail sales and construction experiencing a lift over the last few months.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4 per cent between April and June, compared to the first three months of the year.

But it stressed underlying growth remained "modest" by historical standards.

It comes as the UK Treasury announced £96 million of extra funding to support hubs across Scotland working to develop the technologies of tomorrow.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the Government was “backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs, as we build an economy fit for the future”.

He said: “Today’s £96 million investment for Scotland will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future and the better, highly-paid jobs we all want to see.”

The latest GDP figures come after growth slumped to 0.2% amid frosty weather brought in by the Beast from the East in the first few months of the year.

ONS head of national accounts Rob Kent-Smith said: "The economy picked up a little in the second quarter with both retail sales and construction helped by the good weather and rebounding from the effects of the snow earlier in the year.

"However, manufacturing continued to fall back from its high point at the end of last year and underlying growth remained modest by historical standards."

He added: "The UK's trade deficit noticeably worsened as exports of cars and planes declined sharply while imports rose."

Sterling edged up slightly versus the dollar following the news, but was still trading 0.5% down at 1.27. Against the euro, the pound was up 0.1% at 1.11.

Data showed the UK's powerhouse services sector – which accounts for around 79% of the economy – grew by 0.5% in the second quarter, marking the strongest quarterly expansion since the end of 2016.

This reflects a pick-up in wholesale and retail trading, both of which were affected by the bad weather earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, data released by the ONS also showed a 0.3% rise in household spending, though employee pay growth slowed to 0.6% from 1.1% in the first quarter, due to weaker growth in wages and salaries.

The UK imported the bulk of its goods from EU countries, with 55.3% coming from the bloc in the second quarter, while 49.2% of UK exports were EU-bound.