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UK sees fastest growth in 6 years

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 - 02:00

Apr 29 - Britain's economy grows slightly more slowly than expected in the first three months of 2014, and as Sonia Legg reports the year-on-year rate was its fastest in more than six years.

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This time last year the UK was worrying about a triple dip recession - not any more. Britain's economy has just seen its fastest growth in more than six years. Ian Malcolm is MD at ElringKlinger which makes car components. (SOUNDBITE) (English): IAN MALCOLM, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ELRINGKLINGER, SAYING: "Business is growing exponentially at the moment. We have come a long way from the economic crisis of 2008/2009 when sales were down about 8 million. And now we are expecting 26 or 30 million by 2016." First quarter output for the UK was up more than 3% on last year, while GDP jumped 0.8%. That was less than forecast - partly due to a weaker pound and higher bond prices. But business organisations are positively beaming. (SOUNDBITE) (English): KATJA HALL, CHIEF POLICY DIRECTOR, CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY, SAYING: "Businesses are definitely feeling more confident and across all sectors. Manufacturers are actually feeling more confident than at any time since 1973 and in the service sector too I think companies are feeling confident. High street retailers have a spring in their step - they've had a good spring - so overall the picture is very positive and shows that the recovery is very secure." Opposition politicians say the recovery hasn't yet reached the ordinary worker. But Britain is on course for annual growth of around 2.5%, says Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander. (SOUNDBITE) (English): DANNY ALEXANDER, CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY, SAYING: "This year the UK is the fastest growing place in the G7 - one of the fastest growing economies in Europe - that is good news. the fact that we have employment at the highest level we have ever seen it in the UK's history is also good news - it shows that our economy is heading in the right direction." Green shoots may be growing but the Bank of England has no plans to raise interest rates quite yet. Britain still has a lot of ground to make up after the financial crisis. And there are some areas which aren't running at full speed. A strike by transport workers on the London Underground brought parts of the capital to a standstill. It's due to last two days and there's another one planned for next week.

UK sees fastest growth in 6 years

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 - 02:00

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