GDP figures: Relief at the Treasury

George Osborne Chancellor George Osborne has said "the economy is healing"

There will have been less of a sigh and more a giant heave of relief in the Treasury when they saw the latest growth figures.

Ministers feared that any number with a minus sign attached would have produced headlines about a triple dip which, combined with the recent warnings from the IMF and increases in unemployment, would have fuelled a debate about whether the government's economic strategy was failing - a debate which would have been a gift not just for Labour but the doubters in both the coalition parties.

As it is, the public rhetoric from ministers will remain all about staying the course and a long hard road ahead.

In private they continue to angst not just about how to get the banks lending to small and medium sized businesses, how to get the the housing and construction sectors moving and how to boost manufacturing and exports, but also about how to learn to live an a semi-permanent state of low growth.

Economists will tell you that not much changed today. When you're in government no news is the very best news of all.

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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