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GDP grew by 0.8% in Q3

The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the third quarter of 2013 compared with the previous three months, latest data has shown.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed output increasing in all four main industrial groups during the period between July and September.

Output increased by 1.4% in agriculture, 0.5% in production, 2.5% in construction and 0.7% in services. Output from services is now slightly above its previous peak in Q1 2008, prior to the economic crash.

In Q3 GDP was estimated to be 2.5% below the peak in Q1 2008. From peak to trough in 2009, the economy shrank by 7.2%.

GDP was higher in Q3 2013 compared to the same quarter last year - which was skewed because of the London Olympic Games.

Business leaders in Greater Birmingham welcomed the growth, saying it confirmed what members of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce had said in its Q3 economic survey.

The survey showed 52% of manufacturers and 42% of companies in the services sector had seen growth in UK sales.

Jerry Blackett, chief executive of GBCC said the figures suggested the West Midlands economy was beginning to see sustainable progress.

“Export growth in the region is outperforming the national average, the number of apprenticeships continues to rise, and the chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey indicates that business confidence in Q3 2013 has exceeded pre-recession levels," he said.

“But now is not the time for complacency. Public sector cuts are increasing unemployment and we need to make sure that the private sector is equipped with the skilled workers it requires.

“Exporting is a massive strength of the region. In Q2, the value of exports from the West Midlands stood at £6.6bn. The economic indicators are starting to show that the region is moving in the right direction, but it is crucial that this growing momentum is maintained to unlock the tremendous potential of Greater Birmingham.”

Richard Halstead, Midlands Region Director at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “With three consecutive quarters of growth and a clean sweep of positive numbers across all the major economic sectors, this is the strongest run of data for three years.

"Manufacturing also now seems to have some get up and go with the recent expansion the fastest since 2010 Q3, and is bang in line with all the survey evidence we have seen in recent months.

"This is particularly encouraging following the on-off recovery over the past few years and suggests that the monthly contraction in industrial output in August was fully reversed in September.”

Source : The Business Desk - West Midlands

25 October 2013
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