GDP figures revised downwards

24 May 2012

The economy contracted by 0.3% instead of the 0.2% that the ONS originally said.  Many economists and analysts, including us at the time, said that this did not reflect the true state of the economy and that demand was holding up. 

The evidence from the surveys which covered business confidence and purchasing statistics seemed to back up this view.  However, it was the very sharp contraction in the construction sector that has skewed the statistics and some have observed that demand has held up but stocks have been run down by firms in anticipation of weaker demand.This latest news will mean that there will be further pressure on the Bank of England to restart QE and some on the committee will be mindful of the IMF's suggestion that interest rates could be cut further.All this is also bad news the coalition as they try and stimulate growth.