After three consecutive periods of falling GDP, the economy grew by 1 per cent during the third quarter of 2012. The services sector accounted for the whole of the economy’s growth in this period. A 0.2 percentage point contribution to quarterly GDP growth from higher production sector output – the first positive contribution in the sector since the third quarter of 2010 – was offset by a negative contribution of 0.2 points from construction.
Growth of 1.0 per cent in the third quarter is the strongest since the third quarter of 2007. The strength in the quarter however can partly be attributed to the loss of a working day associated with the Diamond Jubilee bank holiday which subdued output in the second quarter, resulting in growth being calculated from a lower base. In addition, hosting the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics may also have had an impact on growth, especially as ticket sales were accrued to the quarter when they were used rather than the period when they were purchased. It is estimated that ticket sales added 0.2 percentage points to GDP growth in the third quarter.
Real GDP in the third quarter of 2012 was unchanged from its level a year earlier, even with the benefit of the Olympic and Paralympic ticket sales.
The labour market in the three months to August showed further strength. Employment increased by 0.7 per cent between the two latest three month periods, and by 1.8 per cent compared with a year earlier. However hours worked fell slightly compared to the three months to May, perhaps in part due the Diamond Jubilee bank holiday. The employment rate was 71.3 per cent in the latest period compared to 70.3 per cent in the same three months in 2011. The increase of 510 thousand in the number of people employed over the past year comprised 157 thousand more full-time workers and 353 thousand part-time.
Source: Office for National Statistics
GDP: chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (YBEZ)
Employment level: aged 16 years and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (MGRZ)
Total weekly hours: seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBUS)
Total people working full-time: seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YCBE)
Total people working part-time: seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YCBH)
GDP data is from the latest release, which is the preliminary estimate of the third quarter of 2012, published on the 25 October 2012.
Labour Market data is from the latest "Labour Market Statistical Bulletin" published on the 18 July 2012.
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