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Economy in Brief

UK GDP Rises 0.6% in Q4: A Brief Summary
by Carol Stone January 25, 2006

The "preliminary" estimate of GDP in the UK shows an improvement in growth for Q4, to 0.6%, from 0.4% in Q3. This result might surprise observers in light of several reports, the latest only yesterday, of deteriorating business sentiment in that economy. The answer appears to be a mixed one. Output at the so-called "production" industries, that is, manufacturing, mining and utilities, shrank in the quarter by 0.6%. The overall gain in GDP came from a notable pickup in the service sector to 0.9%, its strongest performance since the spring of 2004. Further, even among the production industries, the erratic mining industry whipped around from a steep -7.7% in Q3 to +1.3% in Q4. Several service industries also showed growth spurts of over 1% after more moderated gains in previous quarters. So the improvement in the total GDP figure in Q4 may be more transitory than a sign of a firming trend.

UK GDP SA, % Changes Q4 2005 "Prel"  Q3 2005  Q2 2005 Year/Year 2005 2004 2003 2002
GDP 0.6 0.4 0.5 1.7 1.8 3.2 2.5 2.0
Manufacturing -0.8 0.3 -0.2 -1.6 -0.6 1.9 0.1 -3.1
Mining incl Oil Extraction 1.3 -7.7 0.2 -7.1 -8.4 -8.1 -5.1 -0.3
Electricity, Gas & Water Supply -0.2 -1.0 1.0 -1.8 -1.6 2.1 1.2 -0.5
Services 0.9 0.7 0.6 2.9 2.6 3.6 2.7 2.7
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