UK Economic Growth Strongest Since 2007

Extract from the Office of National Statistics Report  (ONS) released today which draws together key economic stories from national statistics produced over the latest month. The report paints a coherent picture of the UK’s economic performance using recent economic data. Up-dated 10 March 2014 to include BBC coverage.

Key points

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.7% in the final quarter of 2013, taking economic growth to 1.9% between calendar years 2012 and 2013: the strongest growth since 2007. Both services and production output grew, while construction output fell in the latest quarter.
  • Output of the services sector is now 1.3% higher than at the pre-recession peak in Q1 2008. The fall in services output during the recession was cushioned by growth in services that are mainly provided by government, such as public administration & defence, education and health. The opposite has occurred since the trough in Q3 2009.
  • The fall in unemployment during 2013 has been broadly based, with unemployment falling in each of the main age categories. Workers in the 18-24 year age group have borne a larger proportion of the unemployment adjustment than their share in the labour force: older workers, and in particular those aged 35-49 have fared relatively better.
  • The weakness of labour productivity in the UK largely reflects poor productivity growth in the services sector and in the non-manufacturing elements of the production sector, including the extraction industries. Output per hour in manufacturing returned to strong growth during 2010 and 2011, but has since then suffered another large fall.
  • While the growth of real wages and labour productivity has been unusually weak, the positive association between these variables holds for both the manufacturing and services sectors, both before and after the 2008-2009 downturn. This accords with recent ONS analysis of real wages (An Examination of Falling Real Wages – 2010 to 2013).

Read the full report here

UK economy to hit pre-recession peak by summer

BBC Coverage – 10 March 2014

The size of the overall UK economy will this summer overtake the peak level it was at before the 2008 financial crisis, a business lobby group says.  John Glen, Cranfield School of Management, comments: “The BCC are actually being quite conservative”
Read online here

Image courtesy of MJP Architects

Mike Sandiford
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