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Britain free of recession: survey

business Updated: Aug 24, 2009 16:58 IST
Britain free of recession: survey

A record recovery in Britain's business confidence signals that the country's recession "is at an end," an industry body here said on Monday.

Optimism among professionals moved to its highest level for two years in the current third quarter, according to research by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The confidence measure jumped from minus 28.2 to 4.8, the largest quarterly improvement since the survey began in 2003.

The group's third quarter survey "suggests that the UK recession is at an end," said ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza.

"While there is no doubt that the UK economy is on its way to recovery, we shouldn't underestimate the challenges ahead for businesses," he added in a statement.

Officially, Britain remains in recession after government data showed its economy shrank by 0.8 percent in the second quarter -- marking the fifth quarterly contraction in a row.

The second official estimate of Britain's gross domestic product in the second quarter is due out on Friday.

Economists are widely predicting a return to growth in the third quarter, or July-September period. France, Germany and Japan have all exited recession, it was announced this month, after the world's worst financial crisis in decades.