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UK economy grew by 0.1% in February

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The UK economy grew for the second month in a row in February, driven by expansion in manufacturing, raising hopes the UK may be emerging from a technical recession.

Gross domestic product rose 0.1 per cent between January and February, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday.

That was in line with analysts’ expectations and down from January’s 0.3 per cent revised monthly growth.

Services output grew by 0.1 per cent in February, while manufacturing increased by 1.1 per cent. Construction output fell by 1.9 per cent.

February’s figure raises the likelihood that the UK economy expanded overall in the first quarter, marking the end of the technical recession it slipped into at the end of 2023 after two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The latest figure will be a boost for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has pledged to grow the economy as he heads into a general election expected this year.

The Conservative party trails Labour by roughly 20 points in opinion polls.

ONS director of economic statistics Liz McKeown said: “Looking across the last three months as a whole, the economy grew for the first time since last summer.”

In the three months to February, the economy grew 0.2 per cent compared with the previous three months, making the first expansion since August 2023.

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, said the figures were “a welcome sign that the economy is turning a corner, and we can build on this progress if we stick to our plan”.

This is a developing story

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