Think tank says UK will see no growth in first quarter of 2013

Ben Southwood
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THE UK is set to stay stuck in a growth plateau for a further three months, according to forecasts released yesterday.

GDP will stay completely flat during the first quarter of 2013, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said, quashing hopes the economy would reverse some of the decline suffered in the final three months of last year.

Over the whole of 2013, the UK economy will grow just 0.7 per cent, the think tank said, and GDP will still be expanding at the below-trend pace of 1.4 per cent in 2014, six years after the UK first plunged into recession.

NIESR says its estimates tend to come out very close to the first estimate of GDP, a fact that will worry chancellor George Osborne, who has presided over years of bumpy growth since he took up his position in 2010.

In all other 20th century recessions, by this point after the crash, GDP was at least two per cent above the pre-crisis peak – currently the UK is still well-over three per cent below peak.