The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the last quarter, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The economy is now 0.2% ahead of its pre-crisis peak, which it reached in the first quarter of 2008.

Growth has mainly occurred in the services sector, which makes up around three quarters of the UK economy.

The manufacturing sector, on the other hand, has grown less than expected, expanding by only 0.2% in the last quarter.

The economy has grown by 3.1% since this time last year.

The figures follow the IMF’s prediction earlier today that the UK economy would grow 4% this year – faster than any other country in the world.

Despite this, the IMF actually lowered its worldwide growth forecast from 3.7% to 3.4%. This was mainly due to the effect of ‘geopolitical tensions.’

Chancellor George Osborne, said:

“We owe it to hard working taxpayers not to repeat the mistakes of the past & instead work through the plan that’s delivering economic security.”

However, shadow chancellor Ed Balls has cautioned that the news is not as good as it seems.

He said:

“Not only is it two years later than the chancellor’s original plan said, and three years after the US reached the same point, it’s also the case that GDP per head won’t recover to where it was for around another three years – in other words, a lost decade for living standards.”

GDP per capita is still far below the pre-crisis level, meaning that everyday working people are yet to see the effect of the recovery.

 Image by Simon Syon