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UK economy positive 2012

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New data reveals that the UK's economy - while still under-performing - enjoyed better growth than had been expected in 2012.

The Second Estimate of GDP, Q4 2012 report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) established that this was the case.

Where the growth estimate for the year had previously stood at zero, this was revised upwards to 0.2 per cent.

This revision comes from improved figures for the first quarter of the year, which was lifted from a 0.2 per cent contraction to a 0.1 per cent contraction.

Growth in the third quarter of the year also improved, now registering at one per cent, where the previous estimate stood at 0.9 per cent.

Despite this positive news, growth for the fourth quarter of the year was left unchanged at a quarterly decline of 0.3 per cent.

This comes after credit ratings agency downgraded the UK economy's rating amid fears of ongoing sluggish growth in the medium and long term.

Indeed, European economist at asset management platform Schroders Azad Zangana warned that the UK is on the verge of an unprecedented triple-dip recession.

He added that sterling and gilts have both been under a considerable degree of pressure since the end of 2012 - and this could expand given the credit downgrading.

John Longworth, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said that these events confirm that urgent action is needed to restore the economy to growth.

"The chancellor should seize the opportunity in next month's Budget to be radical and introduce measures that create an environment of enterprise, stimulate export growth, kick-start infrastructure projects and create a structure of business finance which supports growing companies," the expert remarked.

"Above all, these measures should create confidence. Our own research shows that firms across Britain believe they can drive growth this year, but they can’t do it alone."

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