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UK economy moves out of recession

UK GDP, 3rd Quarter 2012:  The preliminary estimate of GDP from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the UK economy grew, quarter-on-quarter, by +1.0%. This means the end of the double-dip recession which began when GDP declined in the 2nd quarter of 2008. However, this latest GDP figure takes the UK economy back to the level reached at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2011. The last double-dip recession in the UK was from 1973 to 1976, but by the 13th quarter of that cycle, the economy was back above its starting level. We are now 18 quarters into this cycle and the economy is still quite a way below the level it had reached in the quarter before the recession began.

More details on the preliminary estimate can be found in the ONS Statistical Bulletin which can be downloaded from their web-site at or requested from MTA

Bank of England Agents Summary of Business Conditions, October 2012:  Each month, as part of the process of reporting to the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the Bank of England publishes a summary of its agents reports on the UK economy.  This covers a wide range of topics on demand, output, credit conditions, employment, costs and prices.

Two items of special interest this month are the latest views on investment intentions and capacity utilisation. The Bank’s agents meet with a range of companies in preparing their reports which are then summarised centrally for submission to the MPC.  These suggest that investment intentions have continued to ease back, pointing to little change in the level of capital spending by firms over the next six months. However, it is worth highlighting the fact that this is a levelling off and not, yet at least, a fall in investment.  On capacity, they point to a fall in the level of utilisation recently, especially for manufacturers exporting to the euro area.

The October report also includes a special survey of exports. The report suggests that respondents are expecting growth in exports over the next 12 months, despite a recent slowdown in overseas business being picked up in the regular part of the agents reports.  The two main drivers of this anticipated growth are increases in market share in new and existing markets and an improvement in overseas demand, while changes in exchange rates are the main drag on goods exports, especially to the euro area.

You can download a copy of the Bank of England Agents report from or request it from MTA.

CECIMO Statistical Toolbox, September 2012:  The latest issue of the CECIMO Toolbox has just been released. As usual, it contains a summary of a range of economic trends for Europe including factors such as interest rates, capacity utilisation and exchange rates.  It also includes the latest data for MT-IX – this is CECIMO’s own tracker of share prices for machine tool companies which are quoted on various stock exchanges.

You can download the CECIMO Toolbox from their web-site at or request it from MTA.