Evidence that the recession is at an end is starting to emerge, according to the latest forecast from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
The influential think tank estimates that UK output grew by 0.3% in the final three months of last year, having grown by 0.2% over the three months to the end of November.
However, despite the year end improvement, the figure would mean output fell by 4.8% in 2009, a bigger drop than in any year of the great depression and Britain's biggest contraction since 1921.
Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics has revealed industrial production grew by 0.4% in November, supporting the view that the economy returned to growth in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Slightly dampening the optimism was that manufacturing output remained constant for the second consecutive month, despite predictions of growth of 0.2%.
Following the news, the centre for economics and business research said it expected the economy to grow sluggishly in early 2010.
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