Strong UK GDP figures expected today

Official figures are expected to show a fourth consecutive quarter of GDP expansion when they are released today.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls

The extent of Britain’s economic fightback over the last year will be underlined today when official figures are expected to show the best annual pace of growth since 2007.

Economists expect that data from the Office for National Statistics will have shown a fourth consecutive quarter of gross domestic product (GDP) expansion though this may have slowed to 0.7% after notching up 0.8% in the previous period.

Even so, it should mean overall growth of 1.9% for 2013 following a limp increase of just 0.3% for the whole of the previous year. The economy grew by 3.4% in 2007.

However, shadow chancellor Ed Balls has dismissed claims that Britain’s economy is now powering ahead as “cloud cuckoo land” .

Speaking on BBC2’s Newsnight programme last night, Balls said the UK economy had still to return to the level it was before the global financial crisis broke in 2008.

Three years of economic “flatlining” under the coalition, he said, meant that the UK was still behind France, which is now recovered to its pre-crisis peak.

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