25 October 2012 11:31
Britain's longest double-dip recession since the 1950's is officially over, as official figures released today show that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) show a modest increase.
Gross domestic product (GDP) - a broad measure for the total economy - grew 1% in the third quarter of the year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, ending three consecutive quarters of declining output. City experts had expected a rise of 0.6%. The actual figure is the biggest increase since the third quarter of 2007.
But the bounce-back was largely driven by one-off factors, the ONS warned, such as clawed-back activity lost to the extra bank holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and a slight lift from the Olympics.
Today's estimate comes amid warnings from economists that the UK is far from out of the economic woods and can expect growth to slow in subsequent quarters.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, warned any recovery was looking "fragile, feeble and far from guaranteed".
"Looking through the distortions to GDP in the second and third quarter, the likelihood is that the economy is eking out limited growth," he added.
But Chancellor George Osborne said the figures show that "we are on the right track".
The figure, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), is a preliminary estimate based on the output side of the economy and is subject to revisions.
The third quarter had one more working day than the previous quarter, due to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, which would have affected the estimate, the ONS said.
The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games are also likely to have impacted economic activity in the third quarter, the ONS added.