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GDP and the Labour Market - Q4 2013 February GDP Update

Released: 26 February 2014 Download PDF

Figure 1: Index of output, employment and hours since Q1 2008, seasonally adjusted, Q1 2008=100

Figure 1: Index of output, employment and hours since Q1 2008, seasonally adjusted, Q1 2008=100
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Quarterly GDP growth was unchanged from the previous estimate at 0.7%, although there were revisions to some of the industry groupings which make up total output.

Agriculture output fell by 0.1% in Q4 2013, revised down from a 0.5% increase. Production output was revised down to 0.5% growth on the quarter, previously estimated at 0.7% growth. However, output of the construction industry increased by 0.2% in the final quarter of 2013, revised up from an estimated 0.3% decrease. The quarterly estimate for the services industries was unchanged.

GDP is still estimated to have increased by 1.8% between 2012 and 2013. In the final quarter of 2013, it remains 1.4% below its pre-downturn peak in Q1 2008.

At the same time, the labour market saw further improvements in Q4 2013. The rate of employment increased for the third consecutive quarter, reaching 72.1% and up from 71.8% in Q3 2013. Over the same quarter, total weekly hours increased for the tenth successive quarter to reach 966.8 million hours while the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 7.2%.

Since the start of the downturn in 2008, the labour market has been resilient; employment and total weekly hours did not fall to the same extent as output, and exceeded the pre-downturn peaks in Q3 2012 and Q1 2013, respectively.

The Second Estimate of GDP includes initial estimates of the expenditure and income approaches to GDP.

Within the breakdown of GDP by the expenditure approach, household final consumption expenditure increased for the ninth consecutive quarter, growing by 0.4%. Consequently the level of household expenditure grew by 2.4% between 2012 and 2013. There were also positive contributions from gross fixed capital formation and general government final consumption expenditure, which grew by 2.4% and 0.3% respectively on the quarter. Likewise, net trade had a positive contribution to GDP growth in Q4 2013, as imports contracted on the quarter while exports grew slightly.

According to the income measure of GDP, compensation of employees – which includes both wages & salaries and pension contributions – grew by 0.5% in Q4 2013 and by 2.9% in 2013. While gross operating surplus grew by 6.6% in the latest quarter.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Sources

    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) 

  2. Notes

    GDP data is from the "Second Estimate of GDP - Q4 2013" published on 26th February 2014.

    Labour Market data is from the "Labour Market Statistics - February 2014" published on 19th February 2014.

  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

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