Growth figures show an economic ‘head of steam’

Report finds average Portsmouth worker needs 103 per cent pay rise to afford a mortgage

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THERE is a sense of ‘cautious optimism’ in the business community following the announcement yesterday that the economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the three months to June.

Finance and acquisition expert Nick Gross, who is a corporate partner at Coffin Mew solicitors in Portsmouth, said for the first time there seems to be substance behind the growth.

Output grew in all of the construction, manufacturing and services sectors, the Office for National Statistics said – key industries for economic health in the wider Solent region.

It is the first estimate for growth during the second quarter of 2013, and is based on about 44 per cent of actual data on economic activity.

Mr Gross said: ‘We’ve heard a few figures like this over the last four years, but this time there seems to be a bit more of a head of steam building, so I would say we are cautiously optimistic about the figures.’

Mr Gross said government investment schemes administered by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills seem to be trickling down, and the movements in the construction and manufacturing sectors spells particularly good news for the region.

‘These figures are better than forecast,’ said Chancellor George Osborne.

‘Britain is holding its nerve, we are sticking to our plan, and the British economy is on the mend – but there is still a long way to go and I know things are still tough for families.’