Published Thursday, 25 October 2012
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UK economy grows
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The economy has returned to growth at its fastest pace in five years, with gross domestic product in the UK rising 1% in the third quarter of this year.
That means an end to three consecutive quarters of declining output, but the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which provided the figures, has warned the bounce-back was largely driven by one-off factors.
The extra bank holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and a slight lift from the Olympics, helped boost revenue. Northern Ireland also benefited from special events as Northern Bank chief economist, Angela McGowan, explained.
"At the local level too we can expect to see those high profile summer events such as the Irish Open and the launch of Titanic Belfast, boost the Northern Ireland economic data for Quarter 3.
"The spin off effects of such tourist events tend to ripple through the economy and have a positive impact on other sectors such as food and beverage services, transport as well as arts and entertainment," she commented.
I think we can’t ignore the huge infrastructure investment that we’ve put in in Northern Ireland and we’ve continually reaped the rewards of that over the summer.
Although the figures appear promising, there is a warning that the UK as a whole is far from out of the economic woods, but Chancellor George Osborne said the figures show that "we are on the right track".
PwC Northern Ireland chief economist, Dr Esmond Birnie, said not all of the 1% growth between July and September represents an underlying trend of expansion.
"Let's not downplay the third quarter performance - any sign of recovery is welcome and 1% growth represents a substantial improvement over the 0.4% decline in Q2.
"ONS suggests that Olympic ticket sales added 0.2% to the growth, while the extra Jubilee bank holiday in June depressed Q2 growth by around 0.5%, and artificially inflates this quarter's figure by the same percentage," Dr Birnie commented.
But adding that without the Olympics and the Jubilee the figure would be closer to 0.3% and "a more realistic assessment of underlying growth".
"So, without the Olympics and the Jubilee, today's figure would be closer to 0.3% and that is a more realistic assessment of underlying growth.
"That said, there as certainly been underlying growth in the third quarter and it looks pretty certain that the UK economy has left the double dip recession," he added.