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By Paul Goodman
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12.30pm Update:


CBI:  “It’s really encouraging news that growth has snapped back so strongly in the third quarter. Although the Olympics and Jubilee have made up the majority of that growth, these numbers do also seem to point to some acceleration in underlying momentum. We expect conditions to remain positive going into the fourth quarter, reflecting some easing of the pressure on household budgets from lower inflation. But the global economic environment remains challenging.”

TUC: "The economy is barely any bigger than it was two years ago and we are still on course for the slowest recovery this century. Austerity has already set us back at least two years. It's time to change course so we can make up for lost time and secure the strong sustained growth we desperately need to create good quality jobs and ensure real wage rises for hard-pressed families."

Institute of Directors:  ”The key message is that we're out of recession but uncertain where we're going. Not for the first time we need to heed the warning that you can't see the road ahead through the rear view mirror. Our view is that growth will continue in Q4 but we have to recognise there could be a fallback.”

Federation of Small Businesses: “The economy is going in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go. Growth has flatlined in the last year, so the Chancellor must use the Autumn Statement to sustain recovery. Small firms want to grow and if this is to happen they need confidence in the economy. The Government is moving in the right direction by announcing the small business bank, but we believe that also extending the National Insurance Contributions holiday to all micro firms across the UK would add £1.3 billion to GDP helping to entrench growth.”

Taxpayers Alliance: “The first estimate for each quarter’s growth should always be taken with a pinch of salt, but the new figures suggest that all those people working hard at companies struggling out of the recession are starting to get results. If the Government wants more of this kind of good news then they need to reform our dysfunctional tax system and create the right incentives for people to work, save and invest in Britain.”

And here are two different views from the same stable:

"David Cameron, the prime minister, has already tweeted that the latest numbers show that the economy is healing itself. This I doubt. It's true that the labour market data over the past year has been particularly encouraging, with private sector job creation substantially outstripping the job losses which are going on in the public sector. Most businesses I talk to say they never really experienced a double dip recession. The picture for a long time now has been one of flat to marginal growth." (Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph)

"A bit of good news here, a dash of confidence there, some investment in unexpected areas that bright people haven't yet identified, a burst of innovation and invention that governments are usually slow to spot and, yes, some risk-taking, carried out more sensibly, one hopes, than it was in Brown's boom, and Britain could be in a better position in a few years than we dare to imagine now…What is certain is that it won't happen if our starting position is that it is somehow completely impossible." (Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph)

Finally, at least for the moment, it's well worth having a glance back at Lord Bates's recent piece on this site, in which he argued that GDP figures aren't everything – especially when they paint one picture and figures for jobs, output, start-ups and exports paint another.

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