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Business welcomes latest economic growth figures


Business groups have welcomed the news that the UK economy appears to be ‘on the mend’ after new figures showed that GDP grew by 0.6% in the three months to June.


According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the 0.6% increase recorded in the second quarter was double the pace of growth witnessed in the first quarter of 2013.


The ONS said the UK economy had now clawed back more than half the 7.2% of output lost since the start of the recession in 2008.


‘These figures are better than forecast,’ commented the Chancellor, George Osborne. ‘Britain is holding its nerve, we are sticking to our plan, and the British economy is on the mend - but there is still a long way to go and I know things are still tough for families.’


The latest growth figures have been applauded by business leaders, with many claiming that things are finally looking up for British businesses.


Neil Bentley, Deputy Director General at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: ‘The economy has performed strongly and looks to be building up a head of steam for the rest of the year.’


His thoughts were echoed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which claimed that businesses were more optimistic about hiring and expanding.


‘Confidence among businesses is high when looking ahead to profitability, and many have intentions to take on staff later this year,’ said BCC Director General, John Longworth. ‘Firms are feeling upbeat and are capable of expanding. More and more are adopting a ‘have a go’ attitude when it comes to exporting, which is really encouraging as this will go a long way to driving growth further still.’


However, the Forum of Private Business has warned that there is ‘no room for complacency’ and it urged the government to address many of the issues still hampering UK firms, including simplifying the tax system and curbing spiralling business rates.