UK economy grows by 0.8% in first quarter of 2014

The UK economy grew by 0.8% during the first quarter of 2014, the Office for National Statistics estimated today.

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Car parts firm: Business is 'growing exponentially'

The managing director of car spare parts manufacturer Elring Klinger (GB) has said that his business is "growing exponentially" as the economy recovers.

As the ONS announced growth in the UK economy in the first three months of 2014, Ian Malcolm said his firm had "come a long way" since the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009.

Mr Malcolm added that its rapid recovery was a result of the automotive industry being "hit hardest and quickest" in the downturn, but now bouncing back quicker in the recovery.

Ed Balls: 'Wages after inflation are down £1,600 a year'

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls has responded to the release of GDP figures by saying that "wages after inflation are down by over £1,600 a year".

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Balls said: "Now that growth has finally returned, the question is whether ordinary working people will properly feel the benefit and we have a balanced recovery that’s built to last.

“David Cameron and George Osborne want to tell people the cost-of-living crisis is over, but millions of hardworking people are still feeling no recovery at all.

He added: “Under this government, wages after inflation are down by over £1,600 a year. On top of this, tax and benefit changes will leave families almost £1,000 a year worse off by the time of the next election."

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Osborne: 'Figures show that Britain is coming back'

Chancellor George Osborne has said that the GDP figures for the first three months of 2014 show that "Britain is coming back" but warned "we can't take that for granted".

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He added: We have to carry on working through our long-term economic plan.

"For the first time in a decade all three main sectors of the economy - manufacturing, services and construction - have grown by at least 3% over the last year.

"The impact of the great recession is still being felt, but the foundations for a broad-based recovery are now in place.

"The biggest risk to economic security would be abandoning the plan that is laying those foundations."

TUC: 'Growth could have come three years ago'

TUC Union General Secretary Frances O’Grady has said the current growth n GDP could have been seen three years ago if the government had not "not choked off recovery through cuts, austerity and wage freezes".

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady/ Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

She said: "But however welcome these figures are the economy remains below its 2008 peak and most people have yet to see much benefit from growth.

"Pay and job prospects are still below pre-crash levels, and there will need to be many more years of figures like today’s, before ordinary families recover lost ground.

“The worst possible conclusion from today is to believe that the recovery is now strong enough to survive higher interest rates.”

Economy just 0.6 per cent smaller than before the crash

The economy is now only 0.6 per cent smaller than it was before the crash and is likely to grow in the next quarter, according to ONS figures.

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ONS: Output increased in three main industrial groups

The change in gross domestic product (GDP) - the main indicator of economic growth - increased by 0.8% in the first three months of 2014 compared with growth of 0.7% in quarter four of 2013, the Office for National Statistics said.

  • Output increased in three of the four main industrial groupings within the economy in the first three months of 2014 compared with quarter four 2013. Output increased by 0.9% in services, 0.8% in production and 0.3% in construction. However, output decreased by 0.7% in agriculture.
  • In quarter one in 2014 GDP was estimated to be 0.6% below the peak in quarter one in 2008. From peak to trough in 2009, the economy shrank by 7.2%.
  • GDP was 3.1% higher in quarter one 2014 compared with the same quarter a year ago.

The full results have been published on the ONS website.

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