Building Products (Industrial Report) - UK - July 2013
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The construction industry has a reputation for being highly cyclical, and generally the growth or declines tend to exaggerate specific GDP development. In the historic boom/bust years this was very evident, and while some argued that the cyclicality of the market subsequently declined, this only reflected the more even GDP development. Consequently the economic difficulties caused by the financial sector’s collapse have had a marked impact on the output of the construction industry. The latest Quarterly National Accounts confirmed that the UK economy grew by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2013.
The volume of output is 3.9% below the pre-recession peak. This is bigger than the previously published shortfall of 2.6% mainly because the downturn in 2008-09 was deeper, while the pace of recovery has also been slightly slower than previously estimated.
The revisions suggest that the initial downturn that the UK experienced was deeper than previously thought, as output dropped by 7.2% between the pre-recession peak and the trough, rather than the previous estimate of 6.3%. The revisions also delay the onset of the recovery by a quarter, as the economy returned to growth in the final quarter of 2009. By contrast, there have been relatively modest revisions to the growth picture since 2009 which have not altered the picture of the economy over this period.
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