The UK has managed to avoid dropping into an unprecedented triple-dip recession after the economy grew in the opening three months of the year.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics shows the UK expanded by 0.3 per cent in 2013’s first quarter. This follows the 0.3 per cent contraction that was witnessed in the final three months of 2012.
IHS Global Insight chief UK and European economist Howard Archer says: “In reality, it makes very little difference whether the economy expanded modestly in the first quarter, contracted marginally or was flat.
“It is evident that the economy is still finding it tough to generate even modest sustainable growth.”
The news comes after the International Monetary Fund downgraded the UK’s growth forecast by 30 basis for both 2013 and 2014, while Fitch recently became the second agency to strip the country of its prized AAA credit rating.
According to the ONS, the UK’s dominant services sector grew by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter, being the largest contributor to the increase by adding 0.47 percentage point to the overall GDP number.
The country’s production industry expanded by 0.2 per cent, although construction output fell by 2.5 per cent.