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Following our preview yesterday, ONS published its first cut of GDP data this morning. The headlines will have surprised no one:

  • GDP grew by 0.8% in the first three months of the year, pushing output 3.1% higher than a year ago
  • Manufacturing growth accelerated to 1.3% over the quarter
  • The main declining sectors were agriculture and mining

GDP heads towards pre-recession peak ... finally

index 2010=100Source: National Statistics

Broad based growth across sectors

% change on quarterSource: National Statistics

Manufacturing grows at fastest pace since 2010q2

% change on quarterSource: National Statistics

And a few more facts about that manufacturing number

  • Growth of 1.3% in q1 implies that output expanded by 0.5% in March - the fourth consecutive month of expansion
  • Output is still languishing some 7.7% below its pre-recession peak and even if growth continued at this pace (unlikely) it wouldn't be back there until the end of 2015
  • In a new move from ONS we've got some early indications of sub-sector growth. The top performers over the quarter were rubber and plastics and mechanical equipment. Sliding lower were pharma and electrical equipment.


Chief Economist

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