UK GDP figures: As it happened - news and reaction

Key points

  • The UK economy grew by 1.0% between July and September, more than economists had expected
  • Prime Minister David Cameron said the economy was "on the right track"
  • Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the economy was "flatlining" and only back to the same size it was a year ago
  • The economy got a one-off boost from ticket sales for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • GDP, or gross domestic product, is the sum of all goods and services produced in the economy

Live text

Reporting:

  • Catherine Wynne 
  • Holly Wallis 

Last updated 25 October 2012

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Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the release of the GDP figures which will tell us whether the economy was growing or shrinking between July and September.

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If the figure is positive, it means the economy expanded for the first time this year, but the figures come with a warning: they include a one-off boost from the sale of Olympic and Paralympic ticket sales and may be flattered by comparison with the previous period which included Jublilee-related days off.

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GDP, which stands for gross domestic product, is the sum of all goods and services made in the economy. Before things kick off, you might want to check out our Q&A on GDP - what is it and why it matters.

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The company which made the Games torches, the Premier Group in Coventry, perhaps unsurprisingly says it has had a great year and hopes it will get better.

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Britain's GDP has grown by an average of 0.6% since the 1950s. But not recently, with output shrinking in the first half of this year, leaving the economy slightly smaller than it was in July 2010.

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The average forecast of city economists is that the ONS will announce growth in the third quarter (that is, July to September) of close to that long-term average of 0.6%.

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Norman Smith, Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

tweets: CBI boss John Cridland says divided economy not a north/south split - but a London/Rest of the country split. #gdp

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Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron hinted yesterday we could expect some good news today. Some have suggested he should not have said anything because he would have privileged access to the data along with a small number of ministers and civil servants. The rest of us will have to wait and see. Not long, now though.

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Commenting on Mr Cameron's remarks, Jonathan Portas, director for the National Institute for Economic and Social Research said: "What I think this illustrates is that the system at the moment doesn't really work very well, because how could he be expected to put those figures out of his mind during prime minister's question time?"