Belfast Telegraph

Economic growth has slowed

There has been more evidence of weak underlying health in the UK economy as a leading think-tank forecast a slowdown in growth in the three months to October.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) predicted that output grew by 0.5% in the period, following 1% growth in the three months to September. The UK economy is now around 2.8% smaller than before the onset of the recession at the start of 2008, Niesr added.

Official figures confirmed the longest double-dip recession since the 1950s was over as growth returned in the third quarter - but economists warned the underlying picture was much bleaker and that one-off factors such as the Olympics distorted figures.

The forecast comes after a run of downbeat purchasing manager surveys for October covering the services, manufacturing and construction sector.

Niesr warned: "Unless output turns down again, the recession is over, while the period of depression is likely to continue for some time."