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Economy: UK GDP growth revised upwards in latest data from ONS

PUBLISHED: 13:43 15 August 2014 | UPDATED: 13:43 15 August 2014

The Bank of England this week upgraded its forecasts for UK GDP this year and next.

The Bank of England this week upgraded its forecasts for UK GDP this year and next.

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UK economic growth this year has been slightly better than previously thought, according to revised official figures covering the second quarter.

The latest update from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today confirmed an initial estimate of quarter-on-quarter growth in gross domestic product (GDP) at 0.8%.

But growth compared to the second quarter a year ago was revised up to 3.2%. It had previously been calculated at 3.1%, the highest level since the end of 2007 when the figure was 3.7%.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered construction industry did not perform as badly as had been thought, posting flat quarter-on-quarter growth compared to the initial estimate of a 0.5% contraction.

The figures confirmed, however, that growth in the April-June period was led by the dominant services sector, which represents three-quarters of output and grew 1% quarter-on-quarter, while manufacturing could manage only 0.2%.

The data reiterated that the UK had finally climbed out of its longest downturn since the war, with GDP surpassing its 2008 pre-recession peak by 0.2%.

It contrasts to the dismal picture in the eurozone, where growth ground to a halt over the second quarter amid a flat performance from France and contraction in Germany.

The Bank of England revised upwards its forecast for UK GDP growth this year from 3.4% to 3.5% this week.

Britain is expected to record the strongest 2014 expansion of the major world economies. But prospects for an interest rate rise have been dampened by stagnant wages.

A change in the methodology for calculating GDP will see new figures published next month, which some economists have predicted will show that the UK surpassed its pre-crisis peak earlier than currently calculated.

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