Up, up and away
Ten out of ten – latest economic figures show that the UK’s economy has grown for its tenth successive quarter.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that growth for the second quarter of this year (April, May and June) was 0.7%.
That is an increase on the 0.4% in the first quarter of the year (January, February and March) but also 2.6% than the second quarter of 2014.
In short, it means economic growth is accelerating and, with ten successive quarters of growth, confidence should rise that we have finally put the Great Recession behind us.
Certainly, the return to stability after a majority victory in the general election in early May will have played a part in the rise.
Experts also say a big jump in oil and gas production were a major factor too. With consumer spending buoyed by low inflation, there is more money in the public pocket as well.
The 0.7% growth figure is more in line with some of the quarterly increases we have seen in the recent past.
According to the ONS, the mining and quarrying component of industrial output figures – including oil and gas extraction – rose by 7.8% in the quarter.
This was its biggest increase since 1989, and was largely driven by tax cuts in March to support the sector as it came under fire from plummeting prices caused by a glut on the market.
Over-reliance on one sector – particularly the oil and gas sector – can be unhealthy but overall the figures are very encouraging especially as they also show signs of businesses beginning to invest again.
Some economists will argue the strength of the economy means that we can now sustain a slight interest rate rise later this year.
But the Bank of England needs to consider any increase carefully, especially set against political and economic uncertainty in the EU, new doubt over the Chinese economy, the potential for greater volatility in oil and gas plus the effect of the strong pound on manufacturers and exporters.
You can read more in the special economy section on the BBC’s website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33686358
Ten out of ten – latest economic figures show that the UK’s economy has grown for its tenth successive quarter….