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News : UK Economy Last Updated: Jan 25, 2013 - 1:50 PM

UK GDP fell in the fourth quarter of 2012
By Finfacts Team
Jan 25, 2013 - 11:19 AM

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UK GDP (gross domestic product) is estimated to have fallen by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said [pdf] today that the largest contribution to the decrease came from the production sector, mainly due to a drop in mining and quarrying, after maintenance delays at the UK's largest North Sea oil field.. A small downward contribution from the services sector was partially offset by a small upward contribution from the construction sector.

The economy had grown by 0.9% in the previous quarter, boosted by the London 2012 Olympic Games. For the whole year, growth was flat.

"It confirms what we already knew - that Britain, like many European countries, still faces a very difficult economic situation," the Treasury said in a statement. "While the economy is healing, it is a difficult road."

  • Output of the production industries was estimated to have decreased by 1.8% in Q4 2012 compared with Q3 2012, following an increase of 0.7% between Q2 2012 and Q3 2012;
  • Construction sector output was estimated to have increased by 0.3% in Q4 2012 compared with Q3 2012, following a decrease of 2.5% between Q2 2012 and Q3 2012;
  • Output of the service industries was estimated to have been flat in Q4 2012 compared with Q3 2012, following an increase of 1.2% between Q2 2012 and Q3 2012;
  • GDP was estimated to have been flat in Q4 2012, when compared with Q4 2011;
  • GDP is estimated to have been flat between 2011 and 2012. Users are, however, reminded that this figure is subject to revision in the second estimate of GDP when all quarters of 2012 are open for revision.

John Cridland, director-general, of the CBI, the UK leading business lobby group, said: “After a difficult year, the UK economy has ended on a disappointing note.

“We think growth will continue to be fairly flat through the winter but momentum will gradually build later in the year, as the global economy picks up a little and confidence lifts.”

Peter Saville, partner at UK advisory and restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper, comments on the implications of the GDP growth figures for the retail sector:

“The economy may be weak, but all is not lost for the UK high street. Despite inflation and interest rates impacting consumer spending, the recent retail causalities tell us that responding to customer behaviour patterns is critical to surviving on the high street. Some retailers, such as John Lewis and Asos, reported strong sales over the Christmas period proving that those who keep up with the latest shopping habits – such as online, click and collect and showrooming – will be well placed to ride out the triple dip rollercoaster.”

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