British economy grows 0.8 percent in 2nd quarter, exceeds pre-downturn level

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Official figures show Britain's economy has surpassed its pre-recession size for the first time since the 2008 global banking crisis.

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The Office for National Statistics says gross domestic product grew by 0.8 percent in the three months through June compared with the previous quarter. It grew 3.1 percent over the year, putting it 0.2 percent ahead of its pre-crisis peak in early 2008.

The global financial crisis triggered a deep downturn for the British economy. By mid-2009, GDP was more than 7 percent below its pre-recession level.

Treasury chief George Osborne said Friday's figures marked a "major milestone in our long-term economic plan."

Government critics say the recovery is not built on solid foundations and point out that per-capita GDP remains about 6 percent lower than before the crisis.