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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

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Clegg: Lib Dems were vital to economic recovery

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the economic recovery "wouldn't have happened" without the Liberal Democrats being part of the government.

Speaking to ITV News' political correspondent Carl Dinnen, the Liberal Democrat leader said: "You can't create an economic recovery without having a stable government.

"The Conservatives wouldn't have been able to do it without the Liberal Democrats, the Liberal Democrats wouldn't have been able to do it without the Conservatives."

69% of Brits don't feel better off in growing economy

Two thirds of British adults say that despite the economy growing they don’t feel better off, an Comres poll exclusive for ITV News has found.

While George Osborne has hailed GDP's return to pre-crisis figures as a "milestone", 69% of people interviewed said they do not feel wealthier - while one in four (24%) said they currently spend more than they earn each month.

The Comres results suggest a majority of Britons are not feeling the financial benefit of a growing economy. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Although only 35% of Britons said their personal finances are getting worse (the joint lowest since 2010), only 14% said they are getting better. Instead, most said they are about the same (52%).

A majority of the 2,035 Britons interviewed (55%) also agreed the improving economy is only benefitting the rich, while three in five (62%) think the gap between rich and poor has got worse over the past three months.

Chancellor: Recovery under way but not complete

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".

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Labour: No time for complacent claims economy is fixed

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.

Labour's Ed Balls. Credit: PA

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.

– Ed Balls, Labour's Shadow Chancellor

Nick Clegg: Growth figures show 'rescue has worked'

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".

Read: George Osborne: GDP figures a 'major milestone'

George Osborne: GDP figures 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".

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.

He also stressed the need for the Government to stick to its economic policies and "not to repeat the mistakes of the past".

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