Thinktank forecasts UK growth of 0.8 per cent in three months to April

10th May 2013

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A leading think tank has forecast that the UK’s economy leapt by 0.8 per cent over the past three months, further fueling sentiment that Britain is dragging itself out of the woods.

In its monthly economic predictions report, the National Institute of Economics and Social Research (NIESR) has concluded that UK GDP rose by a creditable 0.8% over the three months to the end of April.

The news may further bolster the belief that the UK is getting back on track following a number of positive economic data. Just recently it emerged that the UK had narrowly missed slipping into a so-called ‘triple-dip recession’ after official figures showed a far better-than-expected 0.3% growth for the first three months of the year.

NIESR says the base impact from the weak level of output in January this year has complimented the quarterly rate of growth in both the production sector and broader economy over the past three months. It notes that actual underlying growth might be weaker than data suggests.

In other good news on the economic front, figures from the Office of National Statistics concluded that industrial production in March beat expectations with industrial output jumping by 0.7 % in month.

The latest survey news on the manufacturing sector is mixed according to some experts. The purchasing managers’ survey for April showed modestly rising output and orders, with export orders expanding for the first time in a year. But the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) industrial trends survey showed a marked weakening in new orders to a 30-month low in April with export orders falling at an increased rate. However, the CBI survey also showed manufacturers’ output expectations for the next three months at the highest level for a year.

Dr Howard Archer, chief European & UK economist, at IHS, said: “While there are decent grounds to hope that the manufacturing sector will return to growth in the second quarter after contracting 1.5% over 2012 and by 0.3% during the first quarter of 2013, life is still far from easy for manufacturers as domestic and international conditions clearly remain challenging.”

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