GDP forecast boosts hopes for growth as the Bank sits on hands
The economic recovery is picking up speed, according to a respected economic think-tank.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that the UK's GDP expanded by 0.8 per cent between February and April. That would represent a marked improvement on the 0.3 per cent growth that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates Britain experienced in the first quarter of the year. And the forecast will bolster hopes that the economy, stagnant since late 2010, is finally going somewhere.
The Bank of England yesterday held its £375bn monetary stimulus programme on hold, in what City analysts said was likely to be a reflection of improvements in the economic data in recent weeks.
"Some signs of growth at the start of the year, together with some stabilisation of activity indicators in April, will have been regarded as positive," said Lee Hopley of the EEF manufacturers' organisation.
As well as the most recent GDP estimate from the ONS, which meant Britain managed to avoid a triple-dip recession, surveys of the construction, manufacturing and services sectors of late have suggested a brightening picture.
The ONS reported yesterday that the beleaguered manufacturing sector, which has been contracting since early 2011, grew by 1.1 per cent in March, although it was still down 0.3 per cent over the first quarter. Industrial production was up by 0.2 per cent over the same period, reflecting a bounce-back of North Sea oil extraction and meaning that the sector made a small contribution to positive GDP growth in the first quarter.
There were also some welcome signs of an upturn in inward investment. The Government's trade promotion body, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), reported that Britain was host to 1,462 projects worth £766bn in 2012-13, a rise of 4 per cent on the previous year. UKTI said this fresh foreign investment created 58,170 new jobs.
Lord Green, the Trade and Investment minister, said: "The 2012 Olympics were a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world Britain's compelling investment offer, and these preliminary figures are very encouraging. Despite strong competition from traditional competitors and emerging economies, Britain has retained its position as the leading destination for foreign direct investment in Europe."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Rotten egg smell could help battle heart disease and Alzheimer's
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...