• Quarterly GDP in Q1 2013 rose by 0.3%, unrevised from the previous estimate
• Services continue to drive Britain’s modest recovery, with quarterly growth of 0.5% in Q1
• Business investment rose 0.2% in Q1, better than in the earlier estimate
• Current account deficit rose to 3.6% of GDP in Q1, a high level by historical standards
• Revised figures confirm that there was virtually no double dip in 2011-12
On revisions to historic GDP data announced today, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:“The revision to national statistics on the size of the economy confirms what we in business have suspected for some time. Our own Quarterly Economic Survey, other business surveys and strong employment data consistently cast doubt on whether the UK suffered a significant ‘double dip’.
“While statistics can be revised with the hindsight of improved data, the damage to business confidence caused by media headlines and partisan bickering is harder to undo. Boosting Britain’s modest recovery requires a greater emphasis on what’s going right in the private sector – rather than a relentless focus on what’s gone wrong.”
David Kern, Chief Economist at the BCC, added:
“The revisions to past data confirm our view that there was effectively no double dip at the beginning of 2012. Yet the revised national accounts also flag up some major concerns. The peak to trough fall in the economy in the 2008-09 recession is now estimated at more than 7%, worse than originally thought. When comparing Q1 2013 with the same quarter in 2008, before the crisis hit, GDP is now 3.9% lower, when it was previously estimated at 2.6% lower.
“Although the confirmation that the economy has not suffered a double dip will help business confidence, the figures confirm that the economy is still very weak, and our external deficit is unacceptably large. We need to see a realistic, two-pronged economic strategy that combines a serious commitment to cutting the fiscal deficit with policies that enable the private sector to drive a sustainable recovery.”