27 Feb 2010

Faster growth seen in UK economy

8:27 pm on 27 February 2010

The British economy grew by 0.3% in the final three months of last year, faster than previously estimated.

The revision was due to stronger growth in services and production.

An initial estimate issued last month said the economy grew by 0.1% in the last quarter of 2009, meaning it had emerged from recession.

However, the size of the overall contraction in gross domestic product during the recession increased, from a fall of 6% to a drop of 6.25%.

Prior to the October - December period, the economy contracted for six consecutive quarters - the longest period since quarterly figures were first recorded in 1955.

The Office for National Statistics said output from production industries rose by 0.4%, compared with a 1% fall between July and September. Household expenditure was up by 0.4%.

The BBC reports Britain was the last major economy to start growing again.

Germany and France came out of recession last (northern) summer. Japan and the United States also emerged from recession last year.

The recession began in the April - June quarter of 2008 and was the longest UK downturn on record.

Public borrowing increased to an estimated 178 billion pounds.