Osborne hails economic growth

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New figures reveal that the UK may be pulling out of recession and heading for recovery. The second quarter of 2013 saw GDP expanding by 0.6 percent, double the figure in the first quarter of the year.

The economic growth may soon make its presence felt in the jobs market, although the UK still has a long way to go before it recovers the output it lost when the recession hit in 2008-9. The Office of National Statistics confirmed that the GDP remains 3.3 percent below the peak it reached before the global financial crisis.

Chancellor George Osborne seized on the figures as vindication of his policies. "Britain is holding its nerve, we are sticking to our plan, and the British economy is on the mend," Osborne said, "but there is still a long way to go and I know things are still tough for families. I will not let up in my determination to make sure we put right all that went wrong in our economy. Unlike the unbalanced economy before the crisis, we are going to make sure that everyone benefits from this recovery." That would seem to be contradicted by a government policy of capping benefits while cutting the highest rate of taxes, but Osborne is nothing if not stubborn.

Analysts welcomed the figures. Consultant David Brown, told the Guardian: "The recovery is not quite on dry land yet, but at least it is a step in the right direction." The growth was marked in industrial production and the services sector, both expanding by 0.6%. Construction, which has been in the doldrums for a while, increased by 0.9%.

For many companies in the service sector the recession might turn out to have been a boon in the long run. Many have used the harsh economic climate as an excuse to bring in shorter contracts, end some workers' rights to paid lunch breaks and generally cut their staff overheads. The recovery will find part-time workers still struggling to make ends meet.

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