UK economy grew by 1.9% in 2013
The UK economy grew by 0.7 % during Q4 2013, resulting in growth of 1.9% for the year as a whole, according to the preliminary estimate of GDP from the Office for National Statistics.
The ONS’ economic review for February 2014 goes on to reveal that the services sector was the main driver of growth; it was the only sector where output in Q4 2013 was above its pre-downturn peak. However, growth in non-government services and all services has differed noticeably.
Four consecutive quarters of positive GDP growth in 2013 was complemented by an improving labour market. The unemployment rate has fallen considerably over the past two years, although rates vary considerably between age groups. Labour market performance has been buoyant in recent years given the severity of the 2008/09 economic downturn, resulting in productivity growth comparing unfavourably to previous downturns in the early 1980s and 1990s.
Despite an improving labour market and consistent positive GDP growth in 2013, the Consumer Price Index continued to fall in the year to December, following a five-year period when inflation was continually above the Bank of England’s 2% target.