UK economy grows in second quarter of 2013

Rupert Cox

Rupert Cox

The latest GDP figures show the UK economy grew by 0.6% in the second quarter of 2013.

This doubles the previous quarter’s rise of 0.3% and is an increase of 1.4% on this time last year, showing positive signs that the economic recovery is gathering pace.

The services sector continues to thrive, partly due to its strong export sales, growing at 0.6% compared with Q1 and 2.1% year on year.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing and construction industries are finally showing signs of improvement with increases of 0.4% and 0.9% respectively in Q1.

The ONS official figures are good news for Somerset businesses, many of whom have noticed an upsurge in activity this year.

Numatic International, based in Chard and famous for its Henry vacuum cleaner, is a major Somerset employer working within the manufacturing industry.

Senior executive, Andrew Smith, comments: “Numatic is enjoying record order intake and output, and that has been the case since the beginning of 2013.

“We are not alone – from speaking to various contacts in manufacturing, I would say that most people are very busy.”

Rupert Cox, CEO of the Somerset Chamber, comments: “Somerset companies have been telling us for some time that they are seeing growth in their businesses.

“At a recent Bank of England breakfast, eight Somerset Chamber members were asked to share their business experiences and perceptions with the Bank of England.

“Those in residential and commercial property were particularly buoyant about the last three months, as were those in manufacturing, exporting and online IT support.

“There are still challenges in the High Street, but these are more likely to be triggered by changes in buying habits with increases in on-line sales, so overall things are certainly looking up.”