1. ITV Report

UK out of recession, but how is our region looking?

Hotels in the Lake District say they may have been hurt by the Olympics Photo: ITV Border

The UK is out of recession, after the economy grew by its fastest rate since 2007 in the three months to September.

The Office of National Statistics said that Olympic ticket sales made up 0.2% of the total 1% growth, which in turn helped hotels and catering services to attract more customers.

But how much business has made its way north? In July, guest house owners in the Scottish Borders said the Olympics were putting people off travelling to Scotland, hurting what should have been their busiest two weeks.

Today, a Cumbrian butcher remained sceptical about any 'Olympic boost'.

Philip Cranston, owner of Cranston's butcher, said: "It's really too early for us to tell. We're in a tough climate. In September, I think it was a little bit better than it's been. But then we are in a tourist area and the summer was not very good, so maybe we pulled things back a bit in July and August. From our side of the business it's really too early to tell whether it was the Olympics."

The figures reveal that UK growth was driven primarily by the services and production sectors.

In particular, hotels, catering, business services and Government services all grew.

But economists have warned we should not feel too optimistic. There are several reasons why the economy may have grown quickly compared to the spring, and why we should remain cautious:

  • A jubilee bank holiday in the spring adversely affected the economy
  • The Olympics and Paralympics account for at least one fifth of the growth
  • The economy has not changed year-on-year

In Scotland, many people say they have not felt the growth at all.

But even if we are not all feeling it yet, the figures show that businesses are investing more in services, and one economist believes that will mean we will start feeling the difference soon.

Professor Robert Hudson, from the Newcastle Business School, said: "In the very short term this is a statistical number, but as time goes by and the trend continues, people will start to feel the benefit.

"People will have more money in their pockets and unemployment will go down. The real economy lags behind these figures to a certain extent. If the trend continues, people will start to fell the benefit."