UK GDP Fourth Quarter Figure Reaches 0.7%

UK GDP Fourth Quarter Figure Reaches 0.7%

The Office for National Statistics releases data on the economic output for the last three months of 2013, showing growth at 0.7%.

The British gross domestic product (GDP) figure for the fourth quarter of 2013 stood at 0.7%, with growth for the full year reaching 1.9%.

Output for 2013 reached its fastest annual rate of growth for six years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures were in keeping with forecasts made by economists and the FTSE 100 was trading up slightly after the data was released at 9.30am.

The preliminary result shows the important service sector – which accounts for around three-quarters of the economy – was up 0.8%.

The ONS said construction was 0.3% down on the previous three months, due to weak figures being recorded in November.

Agriculture was up 0.5% in the October to December period, while production was up 0.7% in the same three months.

Manufacturing was up 0.9% in the quarter, which was its biggest quarter-on-quarter rise since Q3 in 2010.

ONS chief economist adviser Joe Grice said that the service sector is now above the pre-recession levels, but both production and construction are still below that level overall.

Mr Grice said: “We have now seen four successive quarters of significant growth and the economy does seem to be improving more consistently.

“Today’s estimate suggests over four-fifths of the fall in GDP during the recession has been recovered, although it still remains 1.3% below the pre-recession peak.”

The latest figures have given a boost to the Chancellor and come just weeks after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did a u-turn on its forecast for the UK economy.

George Osborne said: “These numbers are a boost for the economic security of hard-working people, growth is broadly based, with manufacturing growing fastest of all.

“It is more evidence that our long-term economic plan is working. But the job is not done, and it is clear that the biggest risk now to the recovery would be abandoning the plan that’s delivering jobs and a brighter economic future.”

The IMF now forecasts growth in 2014 of 2.4%, a figure which is in line with the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The Bank of England’s current forecast is for growth of 2.8% in 2014.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander added: “2013 was the first year since 2007 to see economic growth in all four quarters and to ensure the recovery is long term and sustainable, we need business to invest now.”

He added: “Britain is on the right track and we will not waver from the coalition economic plan that is delivering jobs, growth and the right climate for investment.
Tags: , ,