"Today's first estimate of 3.1% growth year-on-year for the first quarter of 2014 (0.8% quarter-on-quarter) is directly in line with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce's expectations from its Manchester Index*. Rising to 35.1 last quarter from 33.6 in Q4 2013, the Manchester Index indicated growth above 3% back in March with the Quarterly Economic Survey results from Q1. The Manchester Index is a powerful indicator which the Chamber of Commerce has developed to further its ability to nowcast the UK economy as a whole.
"Growth in the UK economy is powering ahead, with the major sectors all contributing to growth. We continue to question fears over an unbalanced or overly consumer-driven recovery. Investment levels could not have been expected to improve until medium-term demand is more certain and those horizons are looking more positive than at any time in the past seven years. The Chamber of Commerce Investment Tracker indicates that investment lags capacity by four quarters and investment intentions by two quarters. With growth up, inflation down, employment up and borrowing down, only the trade figures will continue to disappoint.
The Manchester Index suggests the recovery is here and will be sustained for some time yet."
*Click here to find out more about the Chamber's Quarterly Economic Survey and Manchester Index.