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News : UK Economy Last Updated: Oct 25, 2012 - 2:01 PM


UK economy returned to growth in third quarter 2012 with help from the Olympic Games
By Finfacts Team
Oct 25, 2012 - 11:04 AM

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The UK economy returned to growth in the third quarter 2012, with help from the Olympic Games. The economy expanded by 1.0%, according to gross domestic product figures (GDP, pdf), which were released Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that Olympic ticket sales had added 0.2 percentage points to the figures. All Olympic and Paralympic ticket sales were booked in the July to September's GDP figure, not when they were sold. The ONS also said that besides ticket sales it was difficult to put an exact figure on the Olympic impact, although it cited increased hotel and restaurant activity in London as well as strength from employment agencies.

The GDP figures were also boosted by comparison with the previous three months, because the second quarter had an extra public holiday as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June, as well as unusually bad weather, which cut growth.

  • Output of the production industries was estimated to have increased by 1.1 per cent in Q3 2012compared with Q2 2012, following a decrease of 0.7 per cent between Q1 2012 and Q2 2012;
  • Construction sector output was estimated to have decreased by 2.5 per cent in Q3 2012 compared with Q2 2012, following a decrease of 3.0 per cent between Q1 2012 and Q2 2012;
  • Output of the service industries was estimated to have increased by 1.3 per cent in Q3 2012 compared with Q2 2012, following a decrease of 0.1 per cent between Q1 2012 and Q2 2012;

The economy had been in recession for the previous nine months and has still not recovered the levels of output seen before the financial crisis in 2008. The ONS said that the economy had contracted by 6.4% between the start of 2008 and the middle of 2009, and had since recovered about half of that output.

The level of GDP in the third quarter of 2012 was almost the same in volume terms as it had been in the third quarter of 2011.

John Cridland, CBI director-general, said: “It’s really encouraging news that growth has snapped back so strongly in the third quarter. Although the Olympics and Jubilee have made up the majority of that growth, these numbers do also seem to point to some acceleration in underlying momentum.

“We expect conditions to remain positive going into the fourth quarter, reflecting some easing of the pressure on household budgets from lower inflation. But the global economic environment remains challenging.”

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