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Small businesses 'should welcome GDP revision'

The latest revision to the full year GDP figure should be welcome news to those connected to the small business community.

That is according to John Walker, the National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, who has hailed the data as a further sign of rising optimism in the UK.

Indeed, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed that the UK economy grew by more than previously thought in 2012.

It has therefore revised its growth estimate for the year from no growth to 0.2 per cent, though the figure for the last three months of the year was left unchanged.

Mr Walker stressed the need to ensure that the next Budget builds on the momentum that has been created over the last few months.

"There is no doubt that small businesses want to grow and invest and the Chancellor must look at ways to open up access to finance for example increase lending competition and outline a roadmap for the Business Bank," he said.

"He should also look at overseas markets for first time exporters to encourage more businesses to see this as an opportunity to grow."

Reflecting on the GDP revision, Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, attributed last year's growth to consumers and some solid quarterly contributions from government spending.

He did, however, sound a note of caution, saying: "The continued reliance on consumption and the lack of progress on rebalancing away from it continues to present risks to growth prospects in the coming years."

Earlier this month, the ONS confirmed that the employment rate grew in the final three months of last year as the UK employed more people than ever before.

Figures show that another 154,000 people were in work between October and December compared to the three months to September.

Meanwhile, the number of people out of work fell by 14,000 over the same timeframe.

Posted by Jacob Williams

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