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George Osborne: GDP figures a 'major milestone'

George Osborne has said the news that the economy is now ahead of its peak before the financial crisis is "a major milestone".

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Economy grew by 0.8%. Thanks to the hard work of the British people, today we reach a major milestone in our #LongTermEconomicPlan

The economy grew 0.8% in the second quarter of this year, according to the latest estimate from the Office for National Statistics.

Despite the positive news, the Chancellor tweeted that there was still a "long way to go" for the economy to fully recover from the crisis.

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Economy bigger than previous peak in 2008 but long way to go-the Great Recession was one of deepest of any major economy & cost UK 6 years

He also stressed the need for the Government to stick to its economic policies and "not to repeat the mistakes of the past".

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We owe it to hardworking taxpayers not to repeat the mistakes of the past &instead work through the plan that's delivering economic security

Services industry drives economic growth

The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the last quarter, driven by growth in services and production, the ONS said.

  • Output increased in two of the four main industrial services: Services grew by 1%, production grew by 0.4%, whilst construction and agriculture were both down slightly, by 0.5% and 0.2% respectively.

Read: UK economy grew by 0.8% in second quarter of 2014

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UK economy grew by 0.8% in second quarter of 2014

Britain's gross domestic product has grown 0.8% in the second quarter of the year, following the first quarter growth of 0.6%.

The economy is now 0.2% ahead of its pre-crisis peak in early 2008, the ONS said.

Labour: Recovery not being felt by most people

Labour shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said GDP growth did not mean the recovery was being felt by ordinary people, as real terms pay is falling, resulting in "a lost decade for living standards".

Read: Chancellor: GDP figures show recovery plan working

He rejected the Coalition's claim that the expected figures show their economic policies are working. Writing the Guardian, Ed Balls said:

Not only is it two years later than the Chancellor's original plan said, and three years after the US reached the same point, it's also the case that GDP per head won't recover to where it was for around another three years - in other words, a lost decade for living standards. So while David Cameron and George Osborne complacently claim the economy is now fixed, most people are worse off.

– Ed Balls, Labour's Shadow Chancellor

Read: UK's growth forecast raised a year after IMF warning

Chancellor: GDP figures show recovery plan 'working'

The Chancellor George Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron said the GDP figures expected today are proof the government's long term economic recovery plan is working.

Read: GDP expected to reach pre-recession levels

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IMF upgrades UK growth by more than any other major economy. Further evidence that our #LongTermEconomicPlan is working

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IMF predicts UK to be fastest growing economy in the G7 - more growth means more jobs and more security for families. http://t.co/QmOpiVa5sI

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Read: UK's growth forecast raised a year after IMF warning

RBS profits surge in first half of 2014

Profits at taxpayer-backed RBS have risen significantly in the first half of the year.

The bank said its preliminary results were "significantly stronger than the marked has been expecting", with an operating profit of £2.6bn compared to £708m in the first half of 2013.

RBS' profits for the first half of the year were much better than expected.
RBS' profits for the first half of the year were much better than expected. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

However chief executive Ross McEwan issued a note of caution, saying there would still be "bumps in the road ahead" as the bank deals with various "legacy issues", such as the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance.

Along with the good news on profits, RBS also announced it had set aside an extra £250m to cover fines for mis-selling PPI and interest rate swap products.

Read: RBS boss admits 'shock' over depth of bank's problems

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GDP expected at pre-recession levels

Official figures on the state of the UK economy released today are expected to show gross domestic product (GDP) has recovered to pre-recession levels.

  • GDP is forecast to have grown 0.8% in the second quarter of the year, maintaining the pace of the first quarter
  • Growth in the first three months of the year was just 0.6% of its previous peak in early 2008

Read: UK's growth forecast raised a year after IMF warning

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