‘Special factors’ help GDP grow 1% in Q3 2012 and end double dip recession

Following three quarters of contraction, UK GDP grew 1% in the third quarter of 2012, taking the country out of the double-dip recession - thanks to the Olympic boost.

 

Following three quarters of contraction, UK GDP grew 1% in the third quarter of 2012, taking the country out of the double-dip recession – thanks to the Olympic boost.

The ONS states (pdf):

The latest GDP estimate was affected by the changes made to the quarter two Bank Holidays in May and June 2012 as part of the celebrations for the Queens Diamond Jubilee. The end of May bank holiday moved to June and there was an additional day’s holiday in June. Over the second quarter, this resulted in one fewer working days.

The change to the bank holidays was not a regular event so no adjustment was made to account for it as part of the seasonal adjustment process. This means that any impact of the changes fed directly through to the GDP estimate.

In comparison to quarter two, the latest quarter had one more working day and this will impact on the growth between the second and third quarters. It is not possible to quantify the impact of this effect; retrospective analysis will be carried out, in line with the ONS special events policy, when data for later periods are available.

In addition to the impact of the bank holiday changes, the latest GDP estimate was affected by the Olympics and Paralympics events in the third quarter. The Olympics took place from 27 July to 12 August 2012 (with a few events starting on 25 July), and the Paralympics from 29 August to 9 September.

Beyond the headline figures, and the stripping out of the special factors that have helped the Q3 figures, however, the economy remains flat for 2012, and remains below its pre-crisis peak. It is on course to be exactly flat in 2012.

We will have further analysis of the latest GDP figures later today on Left Foot Forward.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.