GDP growth welcomed

Business leaders across the East of England say they are feeling increasingly positive as the latest GDP figures show the country's economy is continuing to grow.

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Region is a driving force behind economic recovery

The government says new economic figures are a sign that the recovery is on track.

The economy has grown for the third successive quarter - and figures show the East of England is one the main forces behind the upturn.

With construction up, more new businesses starting and one of the lowest levels of unemployment anywhere in the UK, could the feel-good factor be returning? Our Business Correspondent Matthew Hudson's been finding out.

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Businesses feeling positive as economy continues to grow

Business leaders in the East of England say the latest GDP figures reflect an "increasingly positive outlook" in this region.

John Bridge, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said his members had seen a big boost in exports which were up 38.5% compared with the previous year.

He added: "Our members tell us that they are now feeling optimistic about the future and, crucially, that businesses are starting to spend again."

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for Norfolk and Suffolk, said the East was leading the country out of recession.

He said: "The top priority we are giving to driving skills is already bringing together hundreds of business leaders, local authorities, teachers and academics to launch an innovative skills strategy which will be launched by minister for skills, Matthew Hancock MP, in November."

Andy Wood, New Anglia LEP chairman and chief executive of Adnams. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Denise Rossiter, chief executive of the Essex Chambers of Commerce, said planned infrastructure investment - including the opening of the London Gateway container terminal - meant there was plenty to look forward to for businesses in the East.

"We are definitely seeing a lot more positivity from our members across the county who are reporting increasing confidence from their customers, whether other businesses or the general public," she said.

Economy continues to grow in the East

New figures show the economy has continued to grow for the third consecutive quarter.

Between July and September, the country's GDP - or gross domestic profit, which measures the value of UK-based businesses - increased by 0.8pc.

Today the government said that growth was being reflected in the East of England.

Outside of London and the South East, this region has the largest number of private-sector businesses in England.

There were 47,5000 new start-up businesses created in the East in 2012 while exports from the region have also increased.

There are also 17pc more first time buyers getting mortgages compared with 2010.

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