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Economy grew by 0.5% in last quarter

More at the Daily Mail.


OSBORNE OUTSIDE HMT 10.15am Treasury statement: "It is good news that the economy has returned to growth. Manufacturing is growing strongly, the economy has created thousands of jobs since the turn of the year, and borrowing is down. The government has always expected the recovery to be choppy. But together with continued reminders around the world of the risks facing countries that do not deal with their debts and deficits, today's data shows that the government has set the right economic course."

10.30am Statement from Graeme Leach, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors: “The preliminary GDP figures are a very mixed bag with grounds for both optimism and pessimism. Pessimists point to the fact that GDP is stagnant with output unchanged over the past 6 months. This is very much in line with the IoD’s long held view that this recovery will be more L than V shaped. Today’s GDP numbers add further weight to the case against an interest rate rise. But the optimists can’t be ignored either. Leaving aside the construction sector - which contracted sharply - overall services output rose strongly (by 0.9 per cent), although this did follow a decline of 0.6 per cent in the previous quarter. We shouldn’t place too much emphasis on the Q1 data. The more important figure will be Q2 when we begin to see the squeeze on real incomes really kick-in and what effect this has on consumer spending, together with the implementation of the public spending squeeze”.

Noon: Ed Balls' statement. (He hasn't quite got the hang of soundbite length).


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