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Financial News: UK Q3 GDP Rebounds More Than Estimated

UK Q3 GDP Rebounds More Than Estimated

12/20/2019 - 05:55:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK economy recovered at a slightly faster than previously estimated pace in the third quarter, as the trade deficit narrowed notably, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

Gross domestic product grew 0.4 percent sequentially, slightly faster than the 0.3 percent growth estimated initially and in contrast to the 0.2 percent decline seen in the second quarter.

On a yearly basis, economic growth was revised up to 1.1 percent from 1 percent in the third quarter.

All this backward-looking news is less important than the timelier data which suggest that the economy may have done no better than flatline in the fourth quarter, Andrew Wishart, an economist at Capital Economics, said. And whatever happens, Brexit uncertainty looks set to persist.

The Bank of England staff downgraded the growth projection for the fourth quarter to 0.1 percent from 0.2 percent.

On the production-side of GDP, services output grew by revised 0.5 percent from the second quarter. Manufacturing edged up 0.1 percent, as did production output. Construction output advanced 1.2 percent, following a weak second quarter.

The expenditure-side breakdown showed that household spending grew 0.3 percent versus 0.4 percent estimated initially. Meanwhile, government spending declined by revised 0.6 percent.

Gross fixed capital formation increased 0.2 percent instead of previously estimated 0.2 percent fall. Business investment remained flat in the third quarter.

The trade deficit narrowed to 0.1 percent of nominal GDP in the third quarter compared with the previous estimate of 1.2 percent. As a percentage of GDP, this was the lowest trade deficit since the fourth quarter of 1997.

Consequently, the current account deficit narrowed GBP 8.3 billion to GBP 15.9 billion in the third quarter. This was equivalent to 2.8 percent of GDP, the lowest in percentage terms since the first quarter of 2012.

In November, the budget deficit narrowed to GBP 5.6 billion from GBP 5.4 billion last year, the ONS reported. In the current financial year-to-date period, the budget deficit was GBP 50.9 billion, which was GBP 5.1 billion more than in the same period last year.

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