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GDP Growth

·         GDP growth in Q2 2013: +0.6% on the quarter, +1.4% on the year

·         Services growth is +0.6% on the quarter, +2.1% on the year

·         Manufacturing growth is +0.4% on the quarter, -0.9% on the year

·         Construction output is +0.9% on the quarter, -1.0% on the year

Commenting on the GDP figures for Q2 2013, published today by the ONS, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“The modest, positive growth seen in the second quarter of the year shows that things are looking up. The gradual progress made by the UK economy – particularly in the services sector where exports continue to surge – is pleasing to see. Confidence among businesses is high when looking ahead to profitability and turnover, and many have intentions to take on staff later this year. Our surveys are forward looking, compared with the ONS statistics which are retrospective, so our growth predictions could end up being even more optimistic when looking at the remainder of 2013.

“Firms are feeling upbeat and are capable of expanding. More and more are adopting a ‘have a go’ attitude when it comes to exporting, which is really encouraging as this will go a long way to driving growth further still. But strong, sustained growth requires efforts from the government too, as businesses need an enterprise-friendly environment for the economic to go from good to great. New and existing exporters need more support to help them diversify into fast-growing markets, and access to finance for dynamic, growing businesses must be made more available. We must be careful not to choke off the growing optimism and confidence that is coming through, but instead be more proactive in nurturing the modest recovery that is starting to gather pace.”

David Kern, Chief Economist at the BCC, added:

“The increase in GDP was as expected, and suggests that the UK economy is likely to experience moderate growth over the next two or three years. While it is pleasing that the economy continues to grow, there is no room for any complacency, as the level of output is still 3.3% below its peak early in 2008. The services sector remains the main driver, but both manufacturing and construction are still showing year on year declines. The figures will underpin business confidence and reinforce the positive messages conveyed by our surveys. However the recovery is not yet secure and the government must make every effort to ensure that the economy can cope with unexpected setbacks. Despite signs that the eurozone may be returning to growth later this year, the international situation is still uncertain. Overall however, the figures provide a welcome, positive message.”