UK second quarter growth revised upwards

Updated: Friday, 23 Aug 2013 13:01

Hopes for Britain's flourishing recovery were boosted further after official figures revealed the economy grew by more than initially thought between April and June.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revised growth in the second quarter to 0.7%, up from its initial estimate of 0.6% expansion.

Healthier growth was seen across all sectors of the economy, with small upward revisions across manufacturing, construction and parts of services.

Second-quarter growth more than doubled from 0.3% expansion in the first three months, raising hopes that the economy is now powering out of its five-year slump.

The Treasury said the upward revision confirmed the UK is "moving from rescue to recovery".

"There is still a long way to go, but the economy is on the right track and the government is committed to its economic plan that has already cut the deficit by a third and enabled the private sector to create over 1.3 million new jobs," a spokeswoman said.

Output from the UK's building sites expanded by 1.4% in the second quarter from an initial 0.9% estimate as the housing market was ignited by state stimulus schemes, including Help to Buy and Funding for Lending.

There were also brighter signs from factories, which grew output by 0.7% during the quarter, up from an initial 0.4% estimate. Output from distribution, hotels and catering firms, was revised up to 1.7% from 1.5%, while growth across business services and finance firms was also revised higher to 0.6% from 0.5%.

The overall services sector expanded by an unchanged 0.6%, but output from the agriculture sector was revised up to 1.7% from the 1.1% first estimate.

Britain's shrinking net trade deficit, which dropped to £3.2 billion sterling in the second quarter from a £4.3 billion deficit in the first quarter, also contributed to the increase in output as exports leapt to a record level.

Pay and pension contributions increased by 2.4% in the second quarter - the highest quarterly increase since late 2000 - with the pay spike boosted by unusually high bonus payments in April.

The ONS said spending across various parts of the economy contributed to growing output. Spending by households increased 0.4% in the quarter, raising hopes that higher consumer spending will drive the recovery. It is now 1.6% higher than a year earlier.

The ONS said overall economic output is now 3.2% below its peak in the first quarter of 2008, but it had dropped as low as 7.2% below the peak in the second quarter of 2009.

The first estimate published in late July was based on 44% of data, while today's estimate is based on 88% of data.