UK enjoys quarterly growth at last

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The Independent Online

The UK saw its first quarterly growth since May last year in the three months to August, an economic forecaster said today.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research's (NIESR) latest estimate showed a 0.2 per cent rise in output in the period after a 0.3 per cent decline in the three months to July.

NIESR said the figures reinforced its view that the recession ended in May - although the body predicted earlier this year that the downturn ended in March.

The forecaster warned however a return to growth should not be confused with a full economic recovery.

It added: "There may well be a period of stagnation now, with output rising in some months and falling in others; the end of the recession should not be confused with a return to normal economic conditions."

Experts predict estimates from the Office for National Statistics on output for the June to September period to a show a return to growth after a decline of 0.7 per cent during the second quarter.

Manufacturing figures today showed a 0.9 per cent rise in output between June and July - the sector's best performance in more than three years - boosted by recovering production among car makers.

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