Thursday, September 26, 2013
A mixed bag of numbers
Posted by David Smith at 10:30 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

There was something for everybody in today's revised GDP figures and associated releases. Optimists would point to the fact that 0.7% growth in the second quarter was confirmed and Q1 was revised up from 0.3% to 0.4%. Pessimists would point to modest downward revisions for 2012, and the fact that the numbers leave GDP 3.3% below pre-crisis levels. The GDP figures are here. The savings ratio rose from 4.4% to 5.9% in the second quarter, on the back of a bonus-related jump in incomes.

The most disappointing aspect of today's releases was the downward revision to business investment, which is now estimate to have dropped by 2.7% in the second quarter, for a fall of 8.5% on a year earlier. Disappointing and, in the light of other evidence, a bit puzzling. More here.

Optimists will also take comfort from the fact that the current account deficit narrowed to 13 billion in the second quarter. But this was only after a huge 21.7 billion deficit in the first. Details here.