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UK recovery weakest since 1918, warns economic think tank

By Jamie Grierson

Published 12/10/2011

A leading think-tank has warned the economic recovery in the UK was the weakest of any since the end of the First World War.

The warning came as the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said its monthly estimates suggest gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 0.5% in the three months to September, compared to a revised 0.4% in the quarter to August.

NIESR said the level of GDP in the period is still 4% below the pre-recession peak - suggesting the recovery is the weakest since 1918.

The figures for the third quarter may surprise some economists who have forecast near stagnant growth between July and September. The figures come amid deepening fears over the health of the country's recovery and after the Bank of England announced plans to pump an extra £75bn in to the economy to stimulate growth.

If NIESR's estimate is correct, the third quarter growth of 0.5% would represent a solid bounce back from the 0.1% recorded between April and June.

The third-quarter GDP figure will be confirmed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on November 1.

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