UK GDP rises 0.6% backed by ‘widespread growth’ in services

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UK GDP rose by 0.6 per cent during the second quarter of 2013 compared with the first quarter, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

The rise in GDP has been backed by “widespread growth” in the services industry, while the three remaining industrial groups also saw increases.

The figures for the second quarter of 2013 are also 1.4 per cent higher when compared to the same quarter a year ago.

However GDP remains 3.3 per cent below the UK economy’s previous peak during the first quarter of 2008.

The services industry saw an increase of 0.6 per cent, making the largest contribution of 0.48 per cent to the overall GDP figure.

The ONS highlights “widespread growth” across the services sector, including hotels and restaurants as well as business services and finance.

Production industries also rose by 0.6 per cent, contributing a total of 0.08 per cent to GDP.

The construction industry is estimated to have increased by 0.9 per cent compared with Q1 2013, when construction output hit its lowest level since Q1 2001.

Capital Economics chief UK economist Vicky Redwood says: ”While there are still significant obstacles to overcome before a strong and sustained recovery is in sight, the economy is continuing to move in the right direction.

“The sectoral breakdown was also encouraging, suggesting that the recovery is a bit more balanced than it was before.”

Elsewhere, signs of a recovery in the UK economy have also been building over the last month.

At the start of July the IMF raised its economic forecast for the UK from 0.7 per cent to 0.9 per cent, despite downgrading its outlook for global growth as a whole.