Britain dodges recession after growing in Q1

Britain dodges recession as economy grew quarterly 0.3 percent in first quarter

Associated Press
News Summary: Britain dodges recession
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In this photo taken Friday, April 5, 2013, Christophe, a volunteer from France, arranges items of clothing to give to people at a food bank in St Luke's Church in the West Norwood area of London, Friday, April 5, 2013. It’s possible that official figures on first quarter economic growth, to be released Thursday, could put the country back in recession. It would take the smallest statistical variation to put the figure in negative territory which would place the country in recession, another recession _ the third since the 2008 financial crisis _ and is already being referred to with foreboding in the media as a “Triple Dip". (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) -- Britain dodged recession after official figures showed the economy grew in the first quarter.

The Office for National Statistics said Thursday that the economy grew by 0.3 percent in the first quarter compared with the previous three-month period.

Economists on average were expecting growth of 0.1 percent. But with growth so anemic, even a statistical blip could have put the number in negative territory and pushed Britain into its third recession since 2008.

A recession is typically defined as two quarters of economic contraction. The economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Observers had feared that news of another recession — what the media had been calling a "Triple Dip" — would scare consumers even more, feeding into a vicious cycle that has the economy flat-lining.

Britain's government desperately wanted a robust number to justify its austerity policies, and will breathe a huge sigh of relief at the news.

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