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.
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.
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".
George Osborne has said the news that the economy is now ahead of its peak before the financial crisis is "a major milestone".
Economy grew by 0.8%. Thanks to the hard work of the British people, today we reach a major milestone in our #LongTermEconomicPlan
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.
Economy bigger than previous peak in 2008 but long way to go-the Great Recession was one of deepest of any major economy & cost UK 6 years
He also stressed the need for the Government to stick to its economic policies and "not to repeat the mistakes of the past".
We owe it to hardworking taxpayers not to repeat the mistakes of the past &instead work through the plan that's delivering economic security
The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the last quarter, driven by growth in services and production, the ONS said.
- Output increased in two of the four main industrial services: Services grew by 1%, production grew by 0.4%, whilst construction and agriculture were both down slightly, by 0.5% and 0.2% respectively.
Britain's gross domestic product has grown 0.8% in the second quarter of the year, following the first quarter growth of 0.6%.
The economy is now 0.2% ahead of its pre-crisis peak in early 2008, the ONS said.
Labour shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said GDP growth did not mean the recovery was being felt by ordinary people, as real terms pay is falling, resulting in "a lost decade for living standards".
He rejected the Coalition's claim that the expected figures show their economic policies are working. Writing the Guardian, Ed Balls said:
Not only is it two years later than the Chancellor's original plan said, and three years after the US reached the same point, it's also the case that GDP per head won't recover to where it was for around another three years - in other words, a lost decade for living standards. So while David Cameron and George Osborne complacently claim the economy is now fixed, most people are worse off.
The Chancellor George Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron said the GDP figures expected today are proof the government's long term economic recovery plan is working.
IMF upgrades UK growth by more than any other major economy. Further evidence that our #LongTermEconomicPlan is working
IMF predicts UK to be fastest growing economy in the G7 - more growth means more jobs and more security for families. http://t.co/QmOpiVa5sI
Official figures on the state of the UK economy released today are expected to show gross domestic product (GDP) has recovered to pre-recession levels.
- GDP is forecast to have grown 0.8% in the second quarter of the year, maintaining the pace of the first quarter
- Growth in the first three months of the year was just 0.6% of its previous peak in early 2008
The UK economy grew by 0.8% during the first quarter of 2014, the Office for National Statistics estimated today.