UK Economy Picked Up Steam in the Second Quarter
After growing 0.3 percent in the first quarter, the U.K. economic recovery gained further strength in the second quarter, according to a survey of businesses released on Tuesday.
The report from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said strong export demand, improvements in the employment picture and increased business confidence boosted the economy in the three months till end-June.
The survey of 7,400 businesses provides an early reading of the economy, ahead of the release of the first estimates for second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) due on July 25.
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"Despite gloomy media headlines in recent months, our economic survey once again shows increased business confidence," John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said.
"It is incredibly encouraging to see export deliveries reach record levels, and the upturn in employment balances is reassuring in spite of the risks at home and abroad," he added.
The survey is likely to boost U.K. finance minister George Osborne who has faced scathing criticism for his austerity policies from the International Monetary Fund and some analysts.
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The report comes a day after the release of the June purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector, which rose to 52.5 from 51.5 in May. Meanwhile, mortgage loan approvals for house purchases hit a 41-month high in May.
Last week, revisions to GDP data from the Office of National Statistics showed U.K. economic output was flat in the first quarter of 2012, instead of previous estimates of a contraction of 0.1 percent. That data meant the U.K. did not suffer a double-dip recession last year, as was previously forecast.