The British economy grew for the first time in nine months, officially moving the UK out of recession and giving all of Europe some hope for the future. The one percent gain in GDP from July to September isn't exactly explosive, but it's the highest rate of growth since 2007 and blew past the estimates that most economists had expected. The British pound and European stock markets both rose on the news, which signals that the country debt problems may be slowly improving.
There are some caveats with the numbers, of course. Experts say a full 0.2 percent of that growth came directly from Olympic ticket sales, a nice boon that can't be repeated (It's not known yet how much other Olympic spending, like hotels and restaurants, impacted the overall number.) Also, the quarter before this one was unusually low, thanks to an extra holiday inserted into the work calendar in order to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. However, production and manufacturing were both on the rise, leading Prime Minister David Cameron to say that things "are on right track, and our economy is healing."
Cameron may have also gotten himself into a bit of trouble by tipping his hand on the news before it could be officially announced. During a session of Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Cameron said there was "good news" ahead for the economy, leading some thing think that he had already seen the report from the Office for National Statistics, which is given to his office the day before it is published. Just like the closely guarded U.S. jobs report, any data that could affect the markets must be kept in the strictest confidence until it is formally released to the public, leading Cameron's opponents to call for an investigation.