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UK economy grows by 0.5%

Published: 27 April 2011
The UK economy has grown by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2011, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, allaying fears of a 'double dip recession'.
UK economy grows by 0.5%
This return to growth comes after GDP contracted 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010, due to abnormal weather conditions. The ONS now estimates GDP to have returned to the level seen in the third quarter of last year.

Services output increased by 0.9% in Q1 2011 after decreasing by 0.6% in the previous quarter. The largest contribution to growth came from business services and finance.

Manufacturing increased by 1.1%, while construction output fell sharply again, decreasing by 4.7%.

The Forum of Private Business issued a statement today in reaction to the ONS figures, saying Britain needs swift business-friendly policies from the Government and an increase in business and consumer confidence in order to foster economic recovery.

FPB chief executive Phil Orford said: "An increase of 0.5% is as good as we might have hoped for and it's reassuring to know we haven't returned to recession. However it doesn't indicate any great surge of economic activity, and it won't dramatically increase confidence in the small business sector."

He added: "If smaller companies are to foster a genuine and meaningful recovery, they need to be freed from costly and time-consuming red tape, benefit from a simpler and more sympathetic tax system, and see the soaring costs of essentials like fuel and utilities tackled. This in turn should help to bring about the second thing we need to see - a significant increase in business and consumer confidence."

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