In Q3 2013 the UK economy grew by 0.8%, following growth of 0.7% in the previous quarter. However, GDP still remains 2.5% below its pre-downturn peak in Q1 2008.
The services industries continued to support growth in Q3 2013, growing by 0.7% on the quarter and contributing 0.6 percentage points to GDP growth. There was also an upward contribution to growth of 0.1 percentage points from production industries, which grew by 0.5%. This growth was largely due to manufacturing industries, which saw output increase by 0.4 %.
Construction also made a positive contribution to GDP, growing by 2.5% in Q3 2013, following growth of 1.9% in the previous quarter.
As a result GDP has grown by 1.5% over the last year.
The labour market has been resilient since 2008; employment did not fall to the same extent as output during the downturn, and exceeded its pre-downturn peak in Q1 2013. Figures are not yet available for the third quarter as a whole.
However, in the three months to August, employment levels and total hours worked increased by 0.5% and 0.7% respectively; while unemployment fell by 0.7% (18,000). The claimant count shows a decrease of 41,700 claimants between August and September, the largest monthly fall since June 1997.
Services industry output in Q3 2013 is now 0.5% above the pre-downturn peak level in Q1 2008. However, despite the latest quarterly increases, construction output remains 12.5% below the pre-downturn peak and production output is 12.8% lower.
Although manufacturing output (accounting for around 68% of total production) has grown since the start of 2013, it has still not made up the growth lost since the middle of 2011. Water supply activities have been broadly steady over the same period, but rose sharply in each of the last two quarters.
In contrast, mining and quarrying – the second largest sub-industry of total production – has been on an overall downwards trend during the same period and in Q3 2013 was 35.2% below its pre-downturn peak. This however is not unique to the recent economic downturn, as mining and quarrying output has been falling overall since the end of 1999.
The final sub-industry – electricity, gas, steam & air conditioning – fared the best in the initial stages of the downturn. Output fell by just 7% and the industry returned to its pre-downturn peak in Q4 2010, however, since then output growth has remained sluggish or contracted further. With the latest quarterly contraction of 6.8% in Q3 2013, output is now 13% below its level in Q1 2008.
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)
Unemployment level: All aged 16 and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (MGSC)
Total IOP: Index 2010=100, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (L2KQ)
Manufacturing: Index 2010=100, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (L2KX)
Mining & quarrying: Index 2010=100, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (L2KR)
Electricity, gas, steam & air con: Index 2010=100, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (L2MW)
Water supply, sewage, etc: Index 2010=100, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (L2N2)
GDP data is from the "Gross Domestic Product: Preliminary Estimate - Q3 2013" published on the 25 October 2013.
Labour Market data is from the "Labour Market Statistics - October 2013" published on the 16 October 2013.
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