Economy out of recession

The economy grew by 1% between July and September, meaning that the economy is out of its double-dip recession. But there are concerns from economists that the recovery is "fragile."

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Skanska boss: New construction work at lowest level in 30 years

The construction sector has bucked the trend seen in the rest of the economy by shrinking in the third quarter by 2.5%. In the past year, the sector has shrunk by almost 11%.

Roger Bayliss, the executive vice president of Skanska UK, said new orders are at their lowest level in 30 years.

He calls on the Government to "draw a line under" its energy strategy in order to get the construction backlog moving.


David Cameron cautioned over economic data

David Cameron talks to the media about today's GDP figures
David Cameron talks to the media about today's GDP figures Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

David Cameron has been cautioned by a watchdog over the potential for undermining public trust in official statistics after he was accused of giving an early hint of secret economic data.

The Prime Minister yesterday told the Commons that positive news "will keep coming" - before this morning's official release of GDP figures showing the UK was out of recession.

He is one of a select group of ministers and officials given 24 hours' notice of sensitive data under strict rules that it cannot be publicised in any way.

After receiving "a large number" of queries, the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) - which is opposed to the use of pre-release - looked into whether Mr Cameron had breached those rules.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, UKSA chairman Andrew Dilnot reminded him of a requirement not to disclose "any suggestion of the size or direction of any trend".

"It is clear from media reports that, although this may not have been your intent, your remarks were indeed widely interpreted as providing an indication about the GDP figures."

"It is our view that the current pre-release access arrangements undermine public confidence in official statistics and the professional independence of statisticians", he warned.

Growth driven by services and production sectors

The economic growth between July and September was driven by positive results from the services and production sectors, according to figures from the ONS.

Both grew after disappointing results in the second quarter.

  • Services grew by 1.3%, following a 0.1% drop in the previous quarter
  • Industrial production increased by 1.1%, following a 0.7% decline in the previous quarter.
  • Construction remains under pressure, shrinking by 2.5% in the third quarter, or 10.8% in the year to September.
  • Agriculture maintained its downward trend, shrinking by 2.2%.

Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Miliband: No cause for complacency but GDP figures are 'good'

Labour leader Ed Miliband said today's GDP figures were "good news" but families were still feeling the effects of recession.

"It's good news that the economy has come out of the double-dip recession that it was in but there is no cause for complacency, because the economy is really only back to where it was a year ago," he said.

"What families are feeling is that their living standards are squeezed, it's still hard for people to find work, and small businesses are really struggling.

"So what I want to see from the Government is now them building on today's figures with a proper long-term plan for a strong and sustained recovery."


Unite: Growth 'too focused on London'

Unite the Union said the GDP figures are a reflection of the 'once in a lifetime' Olympics
Unite the Union said the GDP figures are a reflection of the 'once in a lifetime' Olympics Credit: Press Association

Unite the Union said today's GDP figures show the growth in the economy is too London-centric and does not reflect what is really happening in the rest of the UK. General Secretary Len McCluskey:

"While any growth in the economy is to be welcomed, the picture is clouded by the artificial boost to the economy generated by Olympic ticket sales, a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, which was responsible for 0.2 per cent of this growth."

“Too much of the growth is centred on London and the service sector, a more realistic indicator is that the construction industry is still in the doldrums and its contribution to the last quarter’s GDP figures declined by 2.5 per cent."

Osborne blames Balls for economic problems

George Osborne attacked Labour shadow Chancellor Ed Balls' record on the economy:

"He was the man more responsible than almost anyone else for what went wrong in the British economy."

"The prescription the the Labour Party offers is the same prescription that got us into this trouble," he said.

"This Coalition Government is taking a different approach, which is that Britain has to confront its problems.

"Rebalancing that economy, healing that economy is what we're all about."

David Cameron: 'We're on the right track'

The Prime Minister has hailed the GDP figures, saying, "we still have a long way to go, but I think these figures show that we're on the right track."

Remarking on the one-off figures included in the positive GDP figures, such as an extra working day and the Olympics, Mr Cameron said:

"There are always one-off figures but I do think they show an underlying picture of good and positive growth."

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