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Economy registers 0.6% growth

By Mark Smulian | 25 July 2013

Gross domestic product increased by 0.6% in the second quarter of this year, up from the 0.3% recorded over the first three months, according to official estimates.

The Office for National Statistics said the increase was seen across all the four main economic groups – agriculture, production, construction and services.

Agricultural output rose by 1.1%, construction by 0.9%, services by 0.6% and manufacturing by 0.4%.

Among other sectors examined, government services increased by 0.1%, with human health activities making the largest contribution.

These increases still left gross domestic product at an estimated 3.3% below the peak seen in the first quarter of 2008 before the banking collapse and recession.

Chancellor George Osborne said that the GDP figures were ‘better than forecast’.

He added: ‘Britain is on the mend, but we've got to stick with the plan because there’s still a long way to go.’

The CBI was optimistic that the figures showed the economy turning the corner after years of no or little growth. Deputy director-general Neil Bentley said: ‘The economy has performed strongly and looks to be building up a head of steam for the rest of the year.

‘This confirms our view that we are heading down the road to recovery, even if there are likely to still be a few bumps ahead.’

But he said the economy’s underlying conditions were ‘quite weak’ with consumers saddled with debt and ‘the potential for getting knocked off course remains’.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: ‘After years of bumping along the bottom, it’s encouraging to finally see some growth in the economy.

‘But it's a measure of how poor the economy is faring that this level of growth is being welcomed

‘The bigger picture is an economy that has grown half as much as forecast when the government came to power.’




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