“These are moderately encouraging figures, but it doesn’t change the underlying picture,” he said. “The question of whether or not we would be in a triple dip recession was always irrelevant. The picture of very slow growth continues.”
He added that most of the growth has come from the service sector, and within that from hotels and catering sector. “That is not exactly the investment led recovery we were hoping for,” he said.
The figures are the latest in a rollercoaster ride for the economy. In the second quarter of 2012 the economy fell by 0.4 per cent, but then grew by 0.9 per cent.
Snowfall and the cold weather are believed to have hit retail sales in the first three months of the year, the Office for National Statistics said. However, that was moderated increased demand for electricity and gas.