The UK parliament has released a document specifying the main economic indicators that will influence today’s budget announcement.
The report states that GDP grew by 0.7% in Q4 2013, following growth of 0.8% in Q3.
The CPI annual inflation rate was 1.9% in January 2014, below the Bank of England’s target of 2.0%.
There were 30.15 million people aged 16 and over in employment in the period between October and December 2013 – up 193,000 on the quarter – and the overall employment rate was 72.1%.
Unemployment was highest in the north east of the country – at 10% – and lowest in the south east – at 5.1%.
The service sector continues to be the largest in terms of output and employment, contributing 79% of the UK’s GDP and providing 83% of jobs.
The production sector – incorporating manufacturing, mining, electricity, water and waste management – was the second largest, providing 15% of the total economic output.
Average weekly earnings, including bonuses, for the whole economy rose by 1.1% in the three months to December, compared with a year ago. This amounts to an average wage of £478 a week.
Finally, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility revised down their forecasts of borrowing and debt from 2013, saying that public borrowing will be £111 billion by the end of this financial year – representing 7% of GDP – and government debt will total £1.3 trillion – 76% of GDP.
Photo by Stewart Morris