LONDON (AP) -- Britain dodged recession after official figures showed the economy grew in the first quarter.
The Office for National Statistics said the economy grew by 0.3 percent in the first quarter compared with the previous three-month period.
Economists on average were expecting growth of 0.1 percent compared with the previous quarter. But with growth so anemic, even a statistical blip could have put the number in negative territory and push Britain into its third recession since 2008.
A recession is typically defined as two quarters of economic contraction.
Economic indicators ahead of Thursday's release were not promising for Britain, which has the third-largest economy in the 27-country EU. Britain's government desperately wanted a robust number to justify its austerity policies.