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UK growth boost ahead of election

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 02:03

Britain's economy expanded at a faster pace than previously thought at the end of last year, helped by strong growth in exports. With just five weeks to go until a closely-fought national election, the news could boost the government's chances. Ciara Lee reports.

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Sainsbury's head office in London - the location of day two of David Cameron's election campaign. Things are looking up for the British leader. Consumer confidence rose to its highest level in more than 12 years this month. And household disposable income has increased over two percent in a year. FX Pro's Angus Campbell. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET ANALYST AT FX PRO ANGUS CAMPBELL, SAYING: "The overall picture and the economic outlook for the UK still looks relatively rosy. Unemployment is falling, wages are rising. So that should keep consumer confidence quite strong for the foreseeable few months." And there was more good news. The economy expanded at a faster pace than previously thought. GDP between October and December grew by 0.6 percent, boosted by strong exports. Cameron says if he is re-elected, he'll create an extra two million jobs over the next five years. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "We're not saying believe some forecast, we're saying believe the record of creating 1000 jobs a day and if we stick to the plan of keeping taxes low, making Britain an attractive place to invest, go on training the apprentices, build the big infrastructure projects like Crossrail, we can go on creating those jobs." Opposition leader Ed Miliband isn't having such a smooth start, in what's expected to be the most closely-fought election in memory. His Labour party has come under fire from a number of firms quoted in the party's adverts. Juergen Maier is Chief Executive of Siemens UK. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JUERGEN MAIER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF SIEMENS UK, SAYING: "I was aware that the Labour party was going to use some comments and attribute them to their campaign. I was not aware that it was being used in an advertisement because at the end of the day I and my company is neutral, we are a-political." The comments he's referring to concern Britain's place in EU. The Conservatives have committed to holding an in-out referendum if they are re-elected, creating uncertainty for business. Labour is pinning its hopes on staying within the bloc.

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UK growth boost ahead of election

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 02:03