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UK Economy Said to Have Expanded 0.8% in 3 Months Through February: NIESR

H.S. Borji
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UK Economy Said to Have Expanded 0.8% in 3 Months Through February: NIESR

UK GDP expanded at a steady rate in the three months through February, a sign the economy’s pre-recession peak will be recovered this year.

UK gross domestic product expanded 0.8 percent between December and February, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research showed today. The economy expanded at a rate of 0.7 percent in the three months ending in January. NIESR’s last quarterly forecast said the UK economy would expand 2.5 percent this year and 2.1 percent next year.

The UK economy expanded 1.8 percent in all of 2013, according to a revised estimate from the Office for National Statistics.

“Unless output turns down again, the recession is over,” the NIESR said today in a press release. “Output is less than 1 percent below its pre-recession peak (January 2008) and we expect this peak will be recovered over the course of 2014.”

Britain’s recovery gained traction in the early part of 2013, driven by household spending and a booming housing market. Exports and business investment will need to rise to ensure recovery is sustained this year, according to the Bank of England.

The NIESR also said it did not expect the central bank to raise borrowing costs until the second quarter of next year.

In currency news, the British pound declined for a second consecutive day versus the US dollar. As of 17:30 GMT, the GBPUSD pair was trading at 1.6623, a loss of 24 pips. The pair has declined nearly 0.7 percent since Monday.

The EURGBP pair consolidated at 0.8340, virtually unchanged from its previous close. The pair has gained more than 1.5 percent over the past five days.

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