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Ed Balls: 'Stats show Tories haven't fixed the economy'

Responding to today's disappointing economic figures, the shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said that the Conservatives "have not fixed the economy for working families".

He said: “Tory economic policy may be helping a few at the top but for most people bills have gone up faster than wages, which are down £1600 a year since 2010.

The shadow Chancellor hit out at today's weak figures Credit: Tom White / PA Wire

"The Tories just don’t understand that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed."

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Quarterly economic growth 'weakest since 2012'

Britain's economy is still growing, but it grew much slower in the first quarter of 2015 than it did at the end of last year.

Official figures show that GDP grew by 0.3% between January and March this year - half as much as it grew between October and December 2014, at 0.6%.

This is the weakest quarterly growth since the end of 2012 - and with the General election just nine days away, this will be seen as a major setback for the government.

The ONS puts the blame on a slower service sector, a shrinking construction industry, and a slight squeeze on industrial production caused by lower oil and gas prices.

ONS chief economist Joe Grice said: "As always, we warn against reading too much into one quarter's figures."

David Cameron: 'We can't take recovery for granted'

The Prime Minister has said that today's just-released GDP figures show that "our economy is still growing" and that "we can't take the recovery for granted".

Mr Cameron was responding to figures showing slower economic growth in the first quarter of 2015 than in the last three months of 2014.

'Stick to the plan' says Osborne after slow growth stats

After the ONS released slower-than-expected figures on Britain's economic growth, George Osborne has insisted that the "future of the economy is on the ballot paper".

Figures show that the economy grew by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2015 - half as much as the 0.6% it grew between October and December 2014

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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.

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