Friday, October 25, 2013
A good-looking GDP number
Posted by David Smith at 11:30 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

GDP rose 0.8% in the third quarter, in line with expectations, its best quarterly growth rate since Q2 2010. Gross valued added excluding oil and gas also rose by 0.8% but has risen by 6.2% since the mid-2009 trough and is only 1.6% below its pre-crisis peak. It points to an underlying growth rate over the past four years of close to 1.5%.

These are the highlights of the third quarter preliminary GDP figures, according to the Office for National Statistics:

- GDP increased by 0.8% in Q3 2013 compared with Q2 2013.

- Output increased in all four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q3 2013 compared with Q2 2013. Output increased by 1.4% in agriculture, 0.5% in production, 2.5% in construction, and 0.7% in services. Output from services is now slightly above its previous peak in Q1 2008, prior to the economic downturn.

- In Q3 2013 GDP was estimated to be 2.5% below the peak in Q1 2008. From peak to trough in 2009, the economy shrank by 7.2%.

- GDP was 1.5% higher in Q3 2013 compared with the same quarter a year ago. Remember that the Olympics and Paralympics took place during Q3 2012, raising the level of GDP in this quarter.

The ONS makes two points about the numbers. On is that overall production was depressed by a sharp drop in gas and electricity output, which depressed GDP by 0.1 points. This may have been weather-related, though the statisticians are still investigating this.

Service sector output is now above pre-crisis levels, though manufacturing and construction still have ground to make up. More here.