Britain's economy grew more strongly than previously thought in the first three months of the year. As Grace Pascoe reports, households' disposable income also rose at the fastest annual pace since 2001.
Sunshine and statistics. Brits have plenty to smile about. The UK's economic growth has been revised UP from 0.3 to 0.4% for the first quarter of 2015. Boosted by a strong construction industry. It's also up in year-on-year terms to 2.9 from 2.4 percent. Michael Hewson is from CMC Markets. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "We did have a little bit of a slowdown in the first quarter of this year, I don't think that is entirely surprising given the political uncertainty surrounding the General Election, that is now behind us and I think going forward, I think if we can replicate the quarter that we have just had and continue to post decent growth numbers of around about 0.5 per quarter then we are certainly on target to meet our 2015 GDP targets." Consumers too can loosen their purse strings. Household disposable income rose at the fastest annual pace since 2001, growing 4.5 percent year-on-year. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "Consumer confidence this morning has come out at a fifteen year high. The fact of the matter is if you look at inflation it still remains very very low and now we finally appear to be seeing some type of wage growth and I think all of those factors basically coalescing together essentially means that over the course of the next 3 to 6, to 12 months we could actually see some fairly decent growth out of the UK economy." For 2014 as a whole, growth was revised up to 3.0 percent, the fastest rate since 2006. That improves its chances of being the fastest growing economy in the G7, although the Greek crisis could yet ruin the party.