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These latest GDP numbers have caused a stir. The UK economy grew 0.8pc between June and September, we learnt last Friday – the highest quarterly rise in three years. Within seconds of this news, George Osborne’s thumbs swung into action. Britain is “on the path to prosperity” the Chancellor deftly tweeted.

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What are we to make of these latest figures on British national income? The UK economy expanded by 0.6pc during the three months to the end of June, reported the Office for National Statistics last week. That’s twice the growth rate we saw during the first quarter of 2013 and equivalent to a relatively buoyant annual expansion of 2.4pc.

Among our political classes, this latest GDP data is widely viewed as “game-changing”. The Tories, while not wanting to tempt fate by claiming to have spotted the “green shoots of recovery”, are nevertheless cock-a-hoop. The economy is “on the mend”, says George Osborne, the newly-emboldened Chancellor. On the surface, at least, that seems plausible.
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