The Chancellor has hailed today's figures as a major milestone and there is a lot of optimism, but is it being felt by ordinary people?
The IMF has again raised its forecasts for Britain's GDP growth - just a year after warning that the Chancellor was "playing with fire".
Home Secretary Theresa May announced that a public inquiry will be held into the death of the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko today.
Labour leader Ed Miliband admitted to a likeness with "Wallace" from the popular "Wallace and Gromit" films, but he said that politics rather than his image was what was important to him.
In a wide ranging speech to the Royal Institute of British Architects he said: "I am not from central casting. You can find people who are more square-jawed, more chiselled, look less like Wallace. "You could probably even find people who look better eating a bacon sandwich."
He added: "If you want a politician who thinks that a good photo is the most important thing, then don’t vote for me. Because I don’t."
Praising David Cameron, he said the Prime Minister "is a very sophisticated and successful exponent of a politics driven by image."
But he said he was not going to compete with that and wanted to "offer something different."
Prime Minister David Cameron said the GDP growth figures released today are a "major milestone" in the government's plan for the economic recovery, thanks to the "hard work of the British people", but warned "the work isn't finished yet."
Chancellor George Osborne said GDP figures on growth show that his economic recovery plan is working, but not complete and that he wanted people from all parts of the country to feel the impact of the recovery.
Speaking to Economics Editor Joel Hills from Newcastle he blamed the previous government for the three year delay in a return to growth figures, saying it takes time to work through problems caused when governments "get economic policy wrong".
Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls said today's GDP figures are no time for "complacent" claims that the economy is fixed, as the majority of people were not feeling the recovery due to wage stagnation, a lack of housebuilding and a lack of business investment.
– Ed Balls, Labour's Shadow Chancellor
At long last our economy is back to the size it was before the global banking crisis – three years after the US reached the same point.
But with GDP per head not set to recover for three more years and most people still seeing their living standards squeezed this is no time for complacent claims that the economy is fixed.
Wages after inflation are down over £1,600 a year since 2010, housebuilding under this government is at its lowest level since the 1920s and business investment is lagging behind our competitors.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg hailed the GDP growth figures as proof the "rescue" has worked.
The Chancellor George Osborne said the figures were 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".
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.
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".
We owe it to hardworking taxpayers not to repeat the mistakes of the past &instead work through the plan that's delivering economic security
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.
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 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".
He rejected the Coalition's claim that the expected figures show their economic policies are working. Writing the Guardian, Ed Balls said:
– Ed Balls, Labour's Shadow Chancellor
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.