Britain’s economy enjoyed solid growth in the first three months of the year.
Annual GDP expansion was the strongest in more than six years at 3.1 percent, and gross domestic product rose 0.8 percent from the previous quarter.
That was slightly below what had been predicted by economists polled by Reuters.
The numbers from the Office for National Statistics were good news for Prime Minister David Cameron as he tries to convince voters that his Conservative Party is restoring Britain to financial health. There is a general election due next May.
However the UK’s economy is still smaller than it was just before the 2008-09 recession.
That is one reason why Britain’s central bank has said it will not be raising interest rates quickly.
However Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was quoted as saying on Tuesday that the economic recovery is starting to broaden and there are early signs that it will be sustainable.
Banking, public spending cuts blamed for slower recovery
Although Britain is expected to grow more strongly than any of the other Group of Seven economies this year, many rich countries have already recovered their pre-recession size.
Britain’s slow recovery is partly because of the size of its banking sector, which took a huge hit in the financial crisis. Critics say it is also because the government opted for sharp curbs on public spending.
The opposition Labour party has switched its line of attack away from the government’s failure to revive growth to what it calls the cost of living crisis.
Britain’s population has grown since the financial crisis, meaning that output per head is still well below pre-crisis levels, and driving a decline in real wages that is only just starting to level out.