UK GDP shrank by 0.5%

Gross domestic product shrank by 0.5% between April and June, the Office for National Statistics said today, better than previously estimated. It previously said the economy contracted by 0.7% over the same period.

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Labour: 'Complacent Chancellor Osborne should drop failed plan'

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responding to the revised GDP figures, said:

Any small upward revision in growth figures is welcome, but our economy is still in the longest double-dip recession since the Second World War and that’s why borrowing so far this year has risen by a quarter compared to last year.

David Cameron and George Osborne’s plan has badly failed. Since the spending review our economy has shrunk by 0.6%. And with Britain just one of two G20 countries in a double-dip it is clear that this is a recession made in Downing Street.

Thank goodness the Olympics will have a positive effect on the next quarter’s growth figures, but this short term boost is not the long-term strategy we need. We urgently need a change of course and a plan for jobs and growth to stop permanent damage being done, as the IMF has warned. The longer this complacent Chancellor clings on to his failed plan, the heavier the price our country will pay.

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Diamond Jubilee and poor weather dampened GDP figures

The GDP figures released today suggest that the extra bank holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the washout start to the summer did not have as much of an effect as previously feared.

Economists believe the extra bank holiday may have knocked as much as 0.5% off GDP, but the ONS said it was too early to measure the effect.

There are fears that the economy will struggle to pull out of its double-dip recession in the current quarter as the eurozone debt crisis slows global growth.

Economist: 'Doubtful that a strong recovery lies ahead'

Vicky Redwood, Chief UK Economist at Capital Economics has said:

"UK GDP was revised up in Q2 as expected, but the revision is very small in the big picture and means that output is still more than 4% below its pre-recession peak.

"Remember that the extra bank holiday probably knocked about 0.5% off GDP. But even so, underlying output is just stagnating. What’s more, the spending breakdown shows a strong contribution to growth in Q2 from stockbuilding (an unsustainable source of strength).

"Consumer spending and investment both fell and net trade knocked a full 1 percentage point off quarterly growth. Of course, the GDP figures may in the future be revised up further.

"Nonetheless, given the drags from the fiscal squeeze, euro-zone crisis and high domestic debt levels, we still doubt that a strong recovery lies ahead. "

Labour: '0.5% GDP contraction is no reason to celebrate'

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has tweeted his reaction to the GDP figures:

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ONS: UK construction fell by 3.9%

The Office for National Statistics has released the following details of the UK economy in the second quarter of 2012:

  • Output of the production industries fell by 0.9%, within which manufacturing output also fell by 0.9%.
  • Output of the services industries fell by 0.1%, while output of the construction industry fell by 3.9%.
  • Household final consumption expenditure decreased by 0.4% in volume terms in the latest quarter.
  • In current price terms, compensation of employees rose by 1.8% in the second quarter of 2012.

Treasury: 'Britain is dealing with deep-rooted economic problems'

HM Treasury spokesperson said:

Britain is dealing with some very deep-rooted problems at home and a very serious debt crisis abroad, and that is why the healing of the economy is proving to be a slow and difficult process. Compared to two years ago the deficit is down, inflation is down, and there are more private sector jobs. The Government will continue to give its undivided attention to the economy – for example with recent announcements on infrastructure and lending.

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