Quarterly GDP growth in Q4 2013 was unchanged from the previous estimate at 0.7%, following growth of 0.8% in Q3 2013.
Growth in the services industries remained the strongest contributor, increasing by 0.8% in the final quarter of 2013. Production industries also contributed positively to GDP, growing by 0.5%. However, construction output fell in Q4 2013, contracting by 0.2%. Following strong growth in the previous two quarters. GDP remains 1.4% below its Q1 2008 pre-downturn peak.
The Quarterly National Accounts (QNA) expands upon previous estimates, incorporating additional information on all three measures of GDP. Further explanation of revisions to GDP estimates, including descriptions of the three separate measures of GDP, can be found in Explaining economic statistics.
Households’ final consumption expenditure increased for the ninth consecutive quarter, growing by 0.4% in real terms. Consequently, between 2012 and 2013, the level of household expenditure increased by 2.2%. This is the highest annual growth rate since 2007. There were also positive contributions to quarterly GDP growth from gross fixed capital formation which grew by 1.9%, while general government final consumption expenditure was flat.
Compensation of employees (CoE) – which includes both wages & salaries, pension and other employers’ contributions – grew by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2013. This is the thirteenth successive quarterly increase. On an annual basis CoE grew by 3.2%, the highest annual growth rate since 2007. Gross operating surplus grew by 5.4% in Q4 2013 compared with the previous quarter.
The labour market has been more resilient than output throughout the economic downturn and subsequent recovery, with the level of employment and total weekly hours both above their pre-downturn peaks. Growth in GDP in Q4 2013 was accompanied by further advances in the labour market, with the number of people over 16 and in employment reaching a record high of 30.1 million. This represents an increase of 193,000 in the quarter and 396,000 over the previous year.
The UK employment rate continued to rise, increasing by 0.3 percentage points to 72.1% of the population of working age. However because the population has continued to grow, this is still 0.9 percentage points lower than at the pre-downturn peak.
In October to December, the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage point to 7.2%, while total weekly hours increased for the tenth successive period to reach 966.8 million hours.
Source: Office for National Statistics
GDP: chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (ABMI)
Employment level: All aged 16 and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (MGRZ)
Total weekly hours (millions), seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBUS)
GDP data is from the "Quarterly National Accounts - Q4 2013" published on 28th March 2014.
Labour Market data is from the "Labour Market Statistics - February 2014" published on 19th February 2014.
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