Olympics helped boost Britain's GDP numbers
UK recession over as economy grows 1%
Hosting the Olympics probably helped Britain's economy grow by more than expected during the summer and ending a shallow, nine-month recession.
The country’s Office for National Statistics reported Thursday that the economy grew one per cent over July and September compared with the same period a year earlier, beating economists’ consensus forecast of 0.6 per cent.
The statistics agency says the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games probably gave the economy a boost but it gave no estimate of that effect.
Growth of that magnitude will make the Bank of England less likely to approve a further round of economic stimulus in November, analysts say.
The ONS said the result was the strongest quarterly growth in five years, bringing economic output back to the same level of a year ago.
It is a first estimate and is subject to revision.
Economy is 'healing'
Prime Minister David Cameron, in a message on Twitter, said there was still much to do "but these GDP figures show we are on the right track, and our economy is healing."
Ed Balls, economic spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, said the economy remained "very weak" and there was "no time for complacency."
The ONS said sales of Olympic tickets that occurred in 2011 and earlier in 2012 — the ones it statistically allocated to third-quarter economic output — accounted for 0.2 points of the rise.
Most analysts warned that beyond these one-time effects, the economy remains weak.
"As the Olympic effects unwind, it is still possible that the economy contracts again in the fourth quarter," said Vicky Redwood, chief UK economist at Capital Economics.
Others argued that the simple fact the economy grew is good news at a time when many European countries are sliding deeper into recession.
About half of the nearby eurozone's 17 economies are in recession and even the largest, like Germany and France, are weakening.
With files from The Associated Press