GDP figures wrong, says think tank

As the economy inched out of recession yesterday, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), has contested the government’s weak growth figure of 0.1 per cent.


As the economy inched out of recession yesterday, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), has contested the government’s weak growth figure of 0.1 per cent.

As the economy inched out of recession yesterday, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), has contested the government’s weak growth figure of 0.1 per cent.

The think tank estimates growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 was 0.5 per cent and suggests the economy may have emerged from recession during the third quarter, with an increase in GDP of 0.2 per cent as opposed to minus 0.3 per cent. 
  


Douglas McWilliams, chief executive of the CEBR, says: ‘My experience in looking at data like this for nearly 40 years is that if the official GDP data disagrees with both the data from the labour market (falling claimant count) and the data from business surveys, the GDP data is probably wrong.

‘We expect sluggish growth over the coming years. The understatement of GDP from these figures probably means that the official data will continue to show rising GDP during 2010, if at very slow rates.’

The median expectation of growth in the fourth quarter was 0.4 per cent, according to 35 economists polled by Reuters last week.

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