Official Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures have shown that the UK economy grew by 0.6% in the three months to June, up from 0.3% in the previous quarter. The level of growth was in line with expert forecasts, as optimism slowly returns to the UK economy. Chancellor George Osborne commented: “Britain is holding its nerve, we are sticking to our plan, and the British economy is on the mend”. Growth in output was recorded across all major sectors, including manufacturing, construction and service; an unusual phenomenon. Services grew by 0.6%, with distribution said to be performing particularly strongly, whilst manufacturing (up 0.4%) enjoyed its first output increase for a number of months, following a steady decline that had been occurring since 2010. The construction sector also bounced back 0.9%. Chief economist at manufacturing body EEF, Lee Hopley, felt that manufacturers should now be starting to see improving conditions: “This should signal the start of a gradual improvement in output and orders books through the rest of this year”. "Indeed better news on eurozone activity this week gives further cause for a bit of optimism for manufacturers and exporters but, importantly, we need to see output growth followed by a turnaround in business investment in the coming quarters,” he concluded.Andy Grantham, Sales & Marketing Director at SBF, felt that small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should take heart in the figures: “Now is the time for ambitious SMEs to capitalise on an improving economic picture and start preparing for growth in their own businesses”.