THE UK economy is expected to emerge from a six-year downturn tomorrow, with official figures showing gross domestic product (GDP) has recovered to pre-recession levels.

GDP is expected to have grown by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of the year, maintaining the pace of the first three months.

Growth in the first quarter had left the economy just 0.6 per cent off its previous peak of early 2008.

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The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), will mark the UK's recovery from the deepest downturn in post-war history as GDP fell by 7.2 per cent from the first quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2009.

Recovery has been slower than after previous recessions, but the UK is forecast to be the fastest growing major economy in 2014.

Reports say a key component of the improvement has been the services sector, which includes banks and high street restaurants and has already surpassed its pre-recession peak.

However, manufacturing and construction remain well behind.

The second quarter figures published by the ONS represent a preliminary estimate, subject to later revisions.