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GDP and the Labour Market, 2012 Q3 - November GDP Update

Released: 27 November 2012 Download PDF

Contributions to growth by sector

Percentage points
  2012 Q1  2012 Q2 2012 Q3
Quarter on previous quarter 
Production 0.0 -0.1 0.1
Construction -0.4 -0.2 -0.1
Services 0.1 -0.1 1.0
Quarter on same quarter a year ago
Production -0.4 -0.4 -0.2
Construction -0.3 -0.7 -0.7
Services 0.9 0.6 1.0

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The second estimate of GDP quarterly growth in Q3 2012 was unchanged at 1 per cent. This growth followed three consecutive quarters of negative growth and was the highest since the third quarter of 2007.

Although construction output fell in the latest quarter, the contraction was less severe than in the two previous quarters.  GDP growth in the third quarter was entirely due to a contribution of 1 percentage point from services, with small and offsetting contributions from higher production and lower construction output. 

The Diamond Jubilee bank holiday explains some of the weakness in growth in the second quarter and there was a corresponding rebound in growth in the third quarter. The sales of tickets for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are all accrued to the date they were used rather than when they were bought.  This added 0.2 percentage points to GDP growth in the third quarter.

When comparing Q3 2011 with Q3 2012, the level of GDP was unchanged. There was a substantial increase in services sector output during the past year, which contributed 1 percentage point to overall GDP growth.  But this was offset by contractions in both construction and production sectors.

Index of output, employment and hours since 2008 Q1, seasonally adjusted

Index of output, employment and hours since 2008 Q1, seasonally adjusted
Source: Office for National Statistics

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The labour market in the third quarter showed a fourth consecutive rise in employment, an increase of 513 thousand people on the year. Total weekly hours rose for the fifth consecutive quarter to reach 945.3 million hours, an increase of 1.1 per cent. 

The latest quarter is eighteen periods after the recession began. Total employment has now recovered to the level in the first quarter of 2008, while hours are 0.4 per cent lower and output is still 3.1 per cent lower.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Sources

    GDP: chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (ABMI)

    Employment level: aged 16 years and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (MGRZ)

    Total weekly hours: hours worked by people aged 16 years and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBUS)

  2. Notes

    GDP data is from the latest release, which is the second estimate of the third quarter of 2012, published on the 27 November 2012.

    Labour Market data is from the latest "Labour Market Statistical Bulletin" published on the 14 November 2012.

  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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