Gross domestic product rose by 0.7% in the final quarter of 2013, and by 2.8% on a year earlier. It is now almost back to its pre-crisis peak – now only 1.3% below it – and will be there by mid-year if quarterly growth continues at its Q4 pace.
Manufacturing rose by 0.9% in the final quarter. There is no breakdown at this stage but the monthly figures suggest the strongest component of manufacturing is capital equipment. This and the fact that business services and finance were strong within a 0.8% rise in services (rising by 1.2% after a similar rise in the third quarter) suggests that this is not a recovery driven particularly by consumers.
The surprise is the numbers was a 0.3% drop in the quarter for the construction industry, in which the surveys have been pointing to continued growth. Despite this, construction was up 4.5% on a year earlier.
So a generally good number, although one that was fractionally below some pre-release estimates. The figures, of course, will be revised. More here.
This piece is cross-posted from EconomicsUK.com with permission.