Modest economic growth continues

February 5th, 2014 by Chris St Cartmail

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed that gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.7 per cent in the last three months of 2013. Coupled with other indicators, the findings indicate a modest level of improvement in conditions across the country.

The data showed that between 2012 and 2013, economic growth came in at 1.9 per cent, the strongest level of growth since 2007.

Services and production output were shown to contribute to this growth, while construction output fell over the same period, suggesting that the housing market is still lagging behind. Furthermore, although output was on the rise, the data also showed that growth of real wages and labour productivity has been unusually weak.

Businesses are showing a cautious approval of the news. While it's positive that growth is on the up, it will still take a significant amount of time and effort on the part of British businesses to push the country back to the levels of economic strength seen before the recession hit in 2008.

The data comes as the latest Global Economic Conditions Survey from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) showed an increasing level of confidence in the UK. In fact, UK finance professionals are becoming more and more convinced of the recovery, with 69 per cent of respondents stating that they were optimistic in the fourth quarter of 2013. This was a notable improvement on the 62 per cent who expressed this view in the third quarter.

Emmanouil Schizas, senior economic analyst at ACCA, commented: “These results suggest that the UK is now on track for slower but healthier levels of growth. While the headline-grabbing recovery still relies on unhealthy factors, such as a renewed mortgage bubble, our findings tell us that business confidence is becoming less responsive to these and more closely aligned to business opportunities and demand.”