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GDP - Better than expected

The UK economy has avoided a triple-dip recession after GDP grew in the first three months of the year, according to latest figures from the ONS.

Growth was estimated at 0.3% from the previous quarter and 0.6% compared to the first three months of 2012. Experts had previously forecast growth of just 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

January saw growth of 0.3%, while February was up 0.8%. However estimates for March put growth at 0.1%.

Releasing the figures, the ONS said: “At this stage the snowfall and cold weather during the first quarter appears to have had a limited impact on GDP growth."

“The strongest evidence was that it reduced retail output in January and March 2013 but boosted demand for electricity and gas in February and March, which increased output in the energy supply industries.”

According to the figures, the service industry contributed the biggest boost to the economy, as well as production - thanks to mining and quarrying.

Figures for the retail sector were not split out.

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