1. Quarterly GDP unrevised at -0.3%
2. Household consumption rose by 0.4% in Q4 2012, revised up from 0.2%
3. Main factors contributing to fall in GDP were the decline in investment and the £6.0bn trade deficit
“The unrevised decline on the quarter was expected by most commentators, but we must remember that the economy recorded positive growth of 0.3% for 2012 as a whole. This compares favourably with the eurozone where GDP declined last year. Although there was an increase in consumer spending, business investment is down and the trade deficit widened with a sharper fall in exports compared with imports. These figures are a reminder that growth is still weak, and the government must implement additional growth measures to those announced in the recent Budget.
“There is no reason to be overly gloomy in reaction to these figures. Businesses remain confident, and following the strong retail sales figures published few days ago, we believe GDP has every chance of returning to positive territory in the first quarter of 2013.”