Critics suggest that subdued spending under austerity will affect UK growth

Bad timing: UK growth revised down before Cameron speech

Bad timing: UK growth revised down before Cameron speech

By staff

David Cameron's attempt to outline an optimistic vision for the British economy was marred by depressing GDP figures today.

Just hours ahead of the prime minister's keynote speech to the Tory party conference, official figures revised UK growth down from 0.2% to 0.1% between April and June.

Household consumption fell by 0.8% during the same period, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

There was better news from a Markit/PMI survey, which suggested the UK's service sector increased from 51.1 to 52.9 in September.

"While the UK cannot insulate itself from what is happening to our major trading partners, with financial turbulence in the eurozone and a weaker outlook for global growth, the economy is still growing and this week's survey data for the manufacturing and service sectors are consistent with continued expansion," a Treasury spokesperson said.

The constant revising downwards of UK growth, particularly from its improving situation when the coalition came to power, has led to frantic calls for the country to water down its austerity drive.

However, chancellor George Osborne argues that it was the market's faith in the government's deficit reduction plan which stopped the UK suffering the same economic fate as the eurozone and the US.