U.K. Emerges From Recession at Faster Than Estimated Pace

Britain emerged from recession at a faster pace than previously estimated in the fourth quarter, providing a boost for Prime Minister Gordon Brown as he prepares for a general election within weeks.

Gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent from the third quarter, compared with a previous calculation of 0.1 percent growth, the Office for National Statistics said.

Brown is seeking to persuade voters his Labour government has the best policies to cement the recovery. The Conservatives’ poll lead has narrowed to as little as 6 percentage points as ministers argue that David Cameron’s plan to cut spending this year risks plunging the economy into a double-dip” recession.

The upward revision to growth came as services output was revised to 0.5 percent, the biggest increase since the first quarter of 2008, from a previous estimate of 0.1 percent, the statistics office said. Industrial production growth was revised to 0.4 percent from 0.1 percent.

Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent, the biggest gain since the first quarter of 2008, and government spending increased 1.2 percent. Fixed capital investment fell 3.1 percent on the quarter.

Revisions to previous quarters meant that the economy shrank 6.2 percent since the first quarter of 2008, the deepest recession on record.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/26/2010 9:52:20 AM