UK economy 'accelerates'

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The British economy grew slightly during the last month, an economic thinktank has said.

According to the monthly GDP estimate from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) the output of the country's economy was 0.7 per cent higher in the three months ending April compared to the previous quarter.

The last official GDP figures available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – released in April on the first quarter – suggested an identical growth rate against the final three months of 2006.

But Niesr said today that the way in which it has presented its estimate has disguised marginal growth.

"Rounding of the figure masks what was probably a slight acceleration of growth in the economy as a result of expansion of both public and private sector services," a spokesperson at the thinktank said.

Yesterday the ONS revealed that manufacturing output in the UK was 0.3 per cent down in the first quarter of this year, with decreases reported in ten out of 13 sub-sectors.

Earlier this week the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) painted a much rosier picture of the manufacturing sectors by claiming that demand had increased across the UK for the first time in 12 years.

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