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New UK GDP figures expected to show weaker growth

Official figures released today are expected to show that the UK economy's growth slowed down in the first three months of 2015.

GDP rose by 0.6% in the last quarter of 2014, but economists say they expect the figure to be around 0.5% between January and March this year.

Some experts blame this on the global fall in oil prices, while construction has shrunk and exports are also down.

There are nine days to go until the general election Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire


UK inflation falls to 0.3% in January

The UK inflation rate fell to 0.3% in January - the lowest annual rate on record, official figures show.

The inflation rate has fallen once again in the UK. Credit: PA Wire

The rate of Retail Price Index inflation also fell to 1.1% from 1.6% the previous month.

The Office for National Statistics said falling prices for food and fuel were the main factors behind the drop.

ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar said the 0.9% fall in inflation over the past year is the largest since 2001.

Clegg: £5bn local fund ends years of Govt bossiness

Nick Clegg has hailed government plans for a £5billion regional pot as opening a new era for England's regions.

"This is something that turns a page of decades, generations of over-centralised bossiness from Whitehall," the Deputy Prime Minister told Good Morning Britain.

"I'm really excited because you just get a lot more bang for your buck."

Govt's £5bn regional pot 'falls short of Labour plans'

The shadow business secretary has dismissed an extra £5 billion spending on regional growth as falling "far short" of Labour plans.

Mr Umanna said that Labour would devolve £30 bn in spending to the regions Credit: PA

Labour MP Chuka Umunna said that the Conservative-led coalition had failed to deliver on promises to rebalance England's economy and ensure growth was not concentrated in the capital.

"Instead we've seen things go into reverse as regions and local areas have been held back," he said.

He said that a Labour Government would allow regional authorities to take over £30 billion of spending across the country.


Cameron: regional pot can create thousands of jobs

The prime minister David Cameron has said that an extra £5 billion in investment for England's regions over the next five years will help to kick-start growth across theUK outside of the capital.

The 'growth deals' will offer investment for local authorities and businesses Credit: PA

"For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised. Growth deals will help change all that," he said.

He said that the scheme could turn regional towns and cities in economic "powerhouses" and create thousands of new jobs. "

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who chairs the local growth cabinet committee, also hailed the announcement as marking the end of a culture of "Whitehall knows best" and helping to end an over-reliance on the banks and the City of London.

Government plans £5bn extra regional spending

England's regions are set to benefit from an extra £5 billion in investment under Government plans to re-balance the country's economy and create thousands of new jobs outside the capital.

David Cameron has said that the cash could create thousands of jobs Credit: PA

The cash will be allocated to local authorities and businesses through a series of local "growth deals" for investment in projects including building new homes, improving transport links and opening up new training opportunities.

Officials said that the funding, which would be released over five years from 2015, would lead to work on over 150 roads, 150 housing developments and 20 stations as well as create new jobs and training opportunities outside the capital.

Contribution of over-65s 'redefines older person'

The £61bn contributed to the economy by over-65s "redefines what it is to be an 'older person'" according to Age UK.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK said the usefulness of those over the age of retirement should not be overlooked, particularly as Britain had an ageing population:

These figures demonstrate the huge contribution that older people are making to our economy.

To put them in perspective, local authorities in England currently spend considerably less - just under £10 billion - on social care for older people.

Many will be surprised by just how much older people contribute but it's time we appreciated that they are playing a more and more important part in creating our prosperity.

Older people bring a great deal of knowledge, skill and energy, as volunteers and as paid employees, and in doing so they are redefining what it means to be 'an older person'.

– Caroline Abrahams

Over 65s contributed '£61bn to UK economy last year'

Workers over the age of retirement helped to generate £61bn for the UK economy last year, according to new figures from charity Age UK.

Retirement can last for up to 30-40 years, Age UK said. Credit: PA

Over 65s contributed via employment, informal caring and volunteering, Age UK said.

The Age UK Chief Economist's report found that £37 billion of the total amount came from employment and £11.4 billion from informal caring.

Childcare contributed £6.6 billion and nearly £6 billion came from volunteering.

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