Here’s what everyone had to say about the latest GDP figures

The UK’s GDP rose 0.7% in the second quarter of 2015, up from 0.4% in the first quarter

But what does this mean for business? Here’s a roundup of comments.

James Sproule, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “It is encouraging to see another set of good, solid growth figures. The fact that GDP per capita may be back to its pre-crisis peak is particularly welcome news in terms of living standards and marks the latest milestone in what has been a business-led recovery. After years when preserving jobs was rightly the priority, higher wages justified by corporate performance are giving us sustainable GDP growth and an economy on the right road.”

Anna Leach, CBI head of economic analysis, said: “We should see similarly decent growth through the rest of the year as low oil prices and inflation help drive consumer spending and business activity outside the oil sector.

“But performance is mixed across sectors, with UK manufacturers going through a tough time as the stronger Pound hits sales into the Eurozone. Meanwhile, the Eurozone is still grappling with uncertainty over the Greek bailout.”

Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser, PwC, said: ”In five out of the past six quarters, the UK economy has grown at a quarterly rate of 0.7% or more - which suggests the recovery is well-established and the weakness in the first quarter was caused by temporary factors.

“Private sector services - which make up over half of GDP - are leading the recovery. Activity in retailing, hotels, restaurants and related services is 4.5% up on a year ago and the output of transport services has risen by 3.7%. Business and financial service growth in the past year is also over 3%. Manufacturing output and public services are much more sluggish, with output growing by just 0.5% or so over the past year. This pattern of growth suggests that consumer spending is providing more momentum to the UK economy now as wage increases pick up and inflation remains around zero.”

Ben Dowd, O2’s business director, said: “Growth is good news for business confidence and consumer spending. But let’s not get carried away. We still face rising unemployment and poor productivity levels – worse than any of our G7 counterparts. If we don’t tackle both of these things together, how can we sustain economic prosperity? The government and Bank of England have set out their longer terms plans to boost productivity – now it’s time for businesses to step up to the plate.”

Nick Dixon, investment director at Aegon UK, said: “The welcome rise in second quarter GDP points to full-year GDP growth of 2.5% – 3.0%, underscored by improving business sentiment and rising real earnings being enjoyed by consumers. Robust GDP growth will intensify hawkish calls on the Bank of England to normalise monetary policy sooner rather than later, and consumers should now be braced for a steady stream of rate rises, starting in early 2016.”


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