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UK avoids triple dip recession

THE UK has avoided an unprecedented triple dip recession after official figures showed output grew by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year.

This followed a 0.3% contraction in the final three months of 2012.

Joe Grice, chief economist of the Office for National Statistics, said the growth had much to do with the success of the service sector, which has grown by 0.8% since the trough of 2009.

However, there was disappointing news for both the manufacturing and construction sectors.

Manufacturing contracted 0.3% during the first quarter, while construction declined by 2.5%, which Mr Grice said extended the trend seen for some time.

The Production sector has declined by 13.4% from its pre-recession peak in 2009, with manufacturing down 10% and construction 18.1%.

Many economists predicted marginal first quarter growth but Chancellor George Osborne is still under great pressure to revive the faltering economy.

Last week the International Monetary Fund urged the Treasury to consider scaling back the austerity programme because of weakness in the economy.

The economy has been hobbled by weak demand from a recession-hit euro zone, a drag from the government's deficit-reduction measures and high inflation eating into meagre wage rises. Furthermore, the global economy is weakening and there are signs of slowing growth in the US and China.

This series of three recessions began in the second quarter of 2008. The economy grew again in the third quarter of 2009 and growth continued, barring a blip at the end of 2010, until the fourth quarter of 2011. Output shrank again and continued to do so through the first half of 2012. Growth returned in the third quarter.

Source : The Business Desk West Midlands

25 April 2013
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