The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014. This follows on from the growth of 0.7% in the final quarter of 2013, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
On an annual basis, the economy grew by 3.1%, the strongest rate of expansion since the final three months of 2007, when the economy grew by 3.7%.
The dominant services sector, which accounts for over three quarters of UK gross domestic product (GDP), grew by 0.9% in the first quarter. Manufacturing, which represents about 10% of the economy, grew by an impressive 1.3%, following an increase of 0.6% in the final quarter of 2013. Manufacturing is growing at an annual rate of 3.4%. Construction grew by 0.3%, partly affected by the floods.
Whilst good, economists had expected 0.9% growth. However, Tuesday’s estimates are the first of three from the ONS and the Bank of England believes that when the full data is available, the economy will have grown by closer to 1% during this first quarter.
Some recent surveys also show that confidence is booming amongst businesses and consumers and the UK is now on course to exceed its pre-crisis peak in the second quarter of this year. So reasonably good news all round.