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UK economy's fastest acceleration in 6 years

Published time: April 29, 2014 13:52
Edited time: April 29, 2014 14:44
Reuters / Stefan Wermuth

Reuters / Stefan Wermuth

Growth in the UK has accelerated to 0.8 percent in the first three months of 2014, but hasn’t recovered to pre-recession levels, according to the Office for National Statistics in London.

From January-March, GDP, the main indicator of growth, narrowly missed the forecast 0.9 percent, but is still hailed as strong and robust, as it marks the country’s fifth consecutive period of growth, and makes it the fastest-growing economy among the G8.

However, GDP is still 0.6 percent below its peak level of 6 years ago, before the financial crisis hit in 2008 which wiped out 7.2 percent of the economy.

"Today's figures show that Britain is coming back – but we can't take that for granted. We have to carry on working through our long term economic plan," Chancellor George Osborne said.

Year-on-year growth was 3.1 percent, which also missed the 3.2 percent forecasts, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released today.

Growth occurred in three out of the four main industry groups in the economy. British manufacturing increased 1.3 percent, industrial production jumped by 0.8 percent, but the construction sector only grew 0.3 percent. The report suggests construction output was held back by heavy rain and storms the island experienced in January and February.

Agriculture disappointed with output decreasing by 0.7 percent. Britain’s strong service industry accelerated by 0.8 percent.

The UK is well on its way to recovering from the devastating effects of the 2008-2009 collapse, which sunk the economy into a steep recession.

Without the drag from a shrinking oil and gas sector the economy was 0.3% bigger than its pre-crisis peak, statisticians added.

The Bank of England expects unemployment to fall to 7 percent by the spring. Economic outlook for 2014 is overall positive with the IMF forecasting 2.4 percent growth– higher than any other European economy.

Britain is pushing to keep its distance from the eurozone economy, which continues to struggle with currency and regional issues.

Despite the strong growth, the Bank of England will likely not change its position on raising interest rates from 0.5 percent until unemployment falls to 7 percent.

UK unemployment currently stands at 7.2 percent, while youth unemployment is much higher - 19.8 percent. Between November 2013 and January 2014, 912,000 people aged between 16 and 25 were out of work.

Comments (66)


Alexey R 01.05.2014 09:14

Michael Dunham 01.05.2014 09:06

o some people decide to leave, while that maybe true far more come to live in the UK.
We're alw


UK has better job opportunities than some other countries (Poland or Romania) but is it good for Britain? Cheap labour good for business to get more profit but creates the pressure on services and decrease the opportunities for Brits. Elite is benefit from it at expense of plebs. This what I am trying to say – statistics show just aggregate values but it could be bankster and bar attendant in the same report.


Alexey R 01.05.2014 08:53

Michael Dunham 01.05.2014 08:46

Not for the reasons you claim, simply it was because the Bolsheviks feared them.
Still trying to convince everyone that the UK is a terrible place? The net immigration and migration figures would suggest few people would agree with you.


UK is better then Samalia no doubt about it and more job opportunities and higher standard of living than India and Pakistan. Is this what immigration statistics shows ? What about Emigration ? Quarter of million Brits run away for pastures green from Blighty.


Alexey R 01.05.2014 08:28

Mike Oxstiff 30.04.2014 17:40

But the Russians have to come from commoners because all the Russian elite were murdered or sent to camps in the revolution


Very good point: why elite was expelled, jailed or executed ? They restricted social mobility and created tension in society which cause the revolutions. My point is class society where only elite has access to education and career is doomed for revolution. UK is the country with worst social mobility in OECD (that was on BBC). Advantage of USSR was it was much more fairer society than Western model (with cost of some consumer goods).

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