UK has already returned to growth, says OECD
Hopes that Britain will avoid a triple-dip recession were bolstered after a leading forecaster said the country had already returned to growth and official figures showed the key services sector expanding at its strongest pace in five months.
The UK economy will dodge a recession with a return to yearly growth of 0.5pc in the first quarter of this year, according to the OECD.
The UK enjoyed yearly growth of 0.5pc in the first quarter of this year, to be followed by a 1.4pc expansion in the next three months, according to estimates from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“The UK is doing fairly well I would say … this avoids a triple-dip in that country,” said Pier Carlo Padoan, the OECD’s chief economist. “We see a global outlook improving after a weak 2012.”
The Paris-based think-tank’s growth projections compared to the UK economy’s 1.2pc contraction in the final three months of last year, as the OECD uses annualised rather than quarterly growth rates. On a quarterly basis, the UK economy shrank by 0.3pc at the end of last year.
The more upbeat outlook was echoed in the US, where officials reported that the world’s biggest economy grew faster than thought in the fourth quarter of last year, at an annual rate of 0.4pc, up from an initial 0.1pc estimate.
The news cheered Wall Street, pushing the S&P 500 share index into fresh highs as it hit 1,567 points at one point, above its 2007 all-time record.