Q1 GDP shows steady growth. By Dan Martin

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The UK economy recorded steady growth during the first three months of 2006 suggesting recovery is on track, official figures show.

Preliminary data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveals gross domestic product between January and March grew 0.6%, the same level as recorded during the same period last year.

ONS said the figure pushed the annual GDP growth rate to 2.2%, up from 1.8% in 2005 and in line with Bank of England forecasts.

Production industries ' which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities ' all saw growth with production putting in a 0.7% rise compared to the 0.9% fall in the fourth quarter of 2005.

However, the services sector, which accounts for the vast majority of the UK economy, performed less well. Growth was up 0.6%, slower than the 1% recorded in the pre...

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